Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed a bill into law that will restrict abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy unless a doctor determines the fetus is not viable or if the woman's life is endangered. The bill does not include an exception for instances of rape and incest. Doctors who break this law could face arrest or have their medical licenses revoked.
Elizabeth Nash, public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, stated, "This is a big deal, in that it could have a real chilling effect on later abortions because there's a potential to be thrust into the court system for providing an abortion after viability. It would be a huge burden for a provider to go through all of that and have to hire a lawyer to prove that you provided an abortion under the law."
Ohio joins 39 other states with late-term abortion limits, including seven states that passed similar legislation: Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, and Alabama. Since January, the Ohio legislature has taken up eight other abortion related bills.
Media Resources: The Daily Record 7/25/11; Huffington Post 7/21/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 7/19/11
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. . . .