On Wednesday, the Idaho Senate voted to approve the Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, unless the woman's life is endangered, and making it a felony for abortion providers to conduct the procedure after 20 weeks. Last week, the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee passed the bill by a vote of 7-2. The bill will now go to the state House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass, for a vote.
The Idaho Attorney General's Office stated that under the Fourteenth Amendment, the Unborn Child Protection Act is unconstitutional "insofar as it proscribes some non-therapeutic abortions even before a fetus has reached viability." Moreover, the American College of Gynecology refutes 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."
The Idaho bill is modeled on a Nebraska law, signed in April 2010, which outlaws abortion after 20 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 3/24/11; Reuters 3/23/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/18/11; Statement of the Idaho Office of the Attorney General 2/14/11
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .