Two AZ Planned Parenthood Clinics Resume Abortion Services
Planned Parenthood of Arizona (PPAZ) announced that it will continue offering abortion services at two clinics near Phoenix. The clinics temporarily halted abortion services after the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled to uphold a law that only a physician can provide medical services, which took effect in August. Previously PPAZ permitted medicinal abortions to be conducted by a physician assistant and surgical abortions by a nurse practitioner.
Nevertheless, PPZA President Bryan Howard lamented the shortage of abortion clinics in rural Arizona. He stated, "That means rural Arizona women must still travel to metro Phoenix and Tucson and face significant burdens as a result. If women can find their way to us, we have staff to serve them." Howard also noted that anti-abortion protesters have been harassing the some of the staff of PPAZ clinics at their homes.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 12/19/11; AP 12/15/11
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. . . .