Despite the defeat of Initiative 26, the so-called Personhood Amendment, by Mississippi voters last week, the group sponsoring the initiative, Personhood USA, has announced that they will attempt to place similar initiatives on the ballot in at least five states in 2012. Initiative 26, a state constitutional amendment, would have given full rights to fertilized eggs. Targeted states for 2012 include Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Nevada, and California. In 2014, the group plans to target Florida.
If personhood initiatives are approved for the ballots in these states, emergency contraception, birth control pills, IUDs, and abortions - even in cases of rape and incest or to save the life of the woman or girl - would be threatened. Initiative 26 in Mississippi would have even gone so far as to eliminate medical choices for women, including some cancer treatments, in vitro fertilization, and could allow the state to investigate and even prosecute a woman for a miscarriage.
Initiative 26 was rejected by Mississippi voters 58% to 42% percent. Prior to Mississippi, voters have defeated anti-choice state ballot measures in South Dakota, Colorado, and California in 2006 and 2008; and Colorado in 2010.
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. . . .