A federal court yesterday ratified an agreement to block two provisions of a new Louisiana state ultrasound law. The Center for Reproductive Rights and six Louisiana abortion clinics filed a lawsuit challenging the law earlier this month. The agreement is between the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and the Louisiana state Department of Health and Hospitals.
The first blocked provision required all women who are seeking an abortion to view a photograph of an ultrasound image prior to the procedure, without exceptions for women who are victims of rape or incest. The CRR had argued that the ultrasound requirement was "unconstitutionally vague" because it did not define whether a doctor must require the patient to view the ultrasound or to accept printed copies, according to the Independent Weekly. In the agreement, the Department of Health and Hospitals said that the woman does not have to see the photograph, but that the new law requires the photograph be offered to the woman, according to theAssociated Press.
The second blocked provision required doctors to provide patients with a list of locations where they can get free ultrasounds. The agreement declares this part of the law "unenforceable" because the state has not yet compiled or distributed this list to the clinics.
Part of the lawsuit is ongoing. The lawsuit challenges the provision that bans medical malpractice insurance coverage for doctors who provide elective abortions. The CRR argues that this provision denies abortion providers equal legal protection.
Stephanie Toti, staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a press release that "we are very pleased with the agreement we reached with the state...Doctors need to be able to make decisions that are in the best interest of their patients, not in the best interest of politicians."
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 8/13/10; Independent Weekly 8/13/10; Associated Press 8/19/10; Center for Reproductive Rights Press Release 8/19/10
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .