Ohio Senate President Halts Hearings on Heartbeat Bill
On Wednesday, Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus (R-OH) announced that he will suspend hearings on the "heartbeat bill" due to the confusion created by the 20 amendments to the bill submitted by its supporters. He stated, "These eleventh hour revisions only serve to create more uncertainty about a very contentious issue. We've now heard hours of testimony that indicate a sharp disagreement within the pro-life community over the direction of this bill, and I believe our members need additional time to weigh the arguments."
The bill has already passed the Ohio House and would ban abortions as early as 6 weeks following conception, before many women are even aware they are pregnant, and includes no exceptions for rape or incest. If passed by the Republican controlled-state Senate and signed by the Governor, the law would directly challenge the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, which allows women to obtain abortion services until fetal viability at 22-24 weeks .
Gary Doughtery, legislative director for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio, stated, "Ohio senators should take notice: Women are watching this waste of time and money that is making a bad situation worse for Ohio women and families."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio has indicated that it will sue if the bill becomes law.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 12/15/11; Associated Press 12/14/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/8/11
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. . . .