On Wednesday, the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-2 to approve a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, unless the woman's life is endangered. The bill will go to the state Senate for a vote.
Steven Olsen, the chief of the Idaho attorney general's civil litigation division, stated that the bill is "unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution insofar as it proscribes some non-therapeutic abortions even before a fetus has reached viability." Moreover, the American College of Gynecology disputes assertions made by Idaho's Republican senators that fetuses can feel pain at 20 week, stating that there is "no legitimate evidence that fetuses can experience pain."
In April 2010, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman signed a bill outlawing abortion after 20 weeks. Prior to the passage of the new law, Nebraska law restricted abortion after viability, which occurs on a case-by-case basis, but is generally accepted to be between 22 and 24 weeks. Nebraska is also the first state to restrict access to abortion by requiring a doctor to screen women for any mental or physical problems before they perform the procedure.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 3/17/11; Idaho Statesman 3/16/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/13/10
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. . . .