US District Court Judge Catherine Eagles issued a preliminary injunction yesterday against a provision in a North Carolina abortion law that would require abortion providers to perform an ultrasound at least four hours prior to an abortion. The law, scheduled to take effect today, would also require that providers describe the images in the ultrasound to the woman and offer patients the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat. Judge Eagles indicated that the plaintiffs in the case would likely prove these portions of the law unconstitutional. Judge Eagles did not however block a provision of the law that imposes a 24 hour waiting period on women seeking abortions.
Melissa Reed, vice president for public policy at Planned Parenthood Health Systems, stated, "Today the court stood on the side of women and health care providers who are faced with personal, private and very complicated medical decisions every day."
In July, the North Carolina General Assembly voted to override Governor Beverly Perdue's (D-NC) veto of an abortion bill. It is estimated that the new requirements would lead to around 2,900 additional births annually and would cost taxpayers $6.7 million in the first year and $35 million over five years.
Media Resources: Washington Post 10/26/11; Reuters 10/25/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 7/28/11
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .