41 Senators to Filibuster CR Defunding Planned Parenthood
Forty-one senators, composed of thirty-nine Democrats and two Independents led by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), announced that they will filibuster any spending bill blocking funding to Planned Parenthood. Following the Senate vote to approve another short-term spending measure in mid-March, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood will not be included in the Continuing Resolution (CR) budget deal for 2011.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the forty-one senators requested that the Senate leaders "stand with us against extreme proposals by some members of the House to eliminate support for women's health and family planning programs and providers that service millions of women and families." The senators stated that "Without access to these services, many of these women will be unable to get preventive screenings, be at far greater risk for diseases such as cancer and will face more unintended pregnancies."
In February, House Republicans, led by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), voted for a Continuing Resolution that prohibited any federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood, even in reimbursement for services rendered. In spite of Republican claims that the Pence amendment would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions, such spending is already prohibited. The Continuing Resolution would also eliminate all of Title X funding, the only federal family planning program dedicated solely to reproductive health. Title X provides reproductive health services to millions of women yearly. Title X funds some 4,500 clinics, including community health centers, public health clinics and about 900 Planned Parenthood clinics.
Planned Parenthood health centers across the country conduct over one million cervical cancer screenings and 830,000 breast exams yearly. Its clinics also provide contraception, basic health care, including family planning, cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, to approximately 2.5 million women per year.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 3/18/11; National Partnership for Women and Families 4/5/11; The Hill 4/4/11
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. . . .