OH Elections Commission Rules Against SBA List in False Advertising Complaint
Late last week, the Ohio Elections Commission ruled that US Representative Steve Driehaus (D-OH) can proceed with his complaint that the Susan B Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, is intentionally lying to distort his record. According to CNN, Driehaus seeks to prevent the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) from erecting four billboards claiming that he supports federally funded abortions because he voted for the national health care reform bill.
The ruling establishes that there will be another hearing in order to determine whether the SBA List has violated Ohio law. If the SBA List is found to be in violation of campaign law, which prohibits groups from making false statements in campaigns, it may face a public reprimand or prosecution resulting in fines or jail time, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the health care reform bill has been attacked by every major pro-life group in the country for its allowance of taxpayer-funded abortion services. However, Driehaus has been quick to emphasize that the health care bill does not introduce any new federal funding for abortion, since the 1970 Hyde Amendment permits government-funded abortions in situations of rape, incest, or to save the mother's life. CNN notes that the bill also states that abortion services must be covered by private premiums, even in government subsidized healthcare exchanges.
According to CNN, the SBA List has been specifically targeting pro-life Democrats who voted for the health care reform bill. The group has strongly condemned the Ohio Election Commission's ruling. SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Commission has enabled Driehaus "to achieve his strategic objective of preventing constituents from learning the truth about his vote in favor of taxpayer funding of abortion." She continued, "We will use every vehicle possible within our First Amendment rights to communicate this message to the people of...Driehaus' district between now and the hearing."
Media Resources: CNN 10/15/10; Cincinnati Enquirer 10/14/10
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .