Man Arrested for Allegedly Setting Fire to Abortion Clinic
Yesterday federal officials arrested Bobby Joe Rogers for allegedly starting a fire on Sunday the American Family Planning clinic in Pensacola, Florida. Rogers faces charges of one count of damaging a building by fire or explosive. He could spend up to 20 years in prison, if he is convicted.
The clinic is owned by Dr. Steven Brigham, who also owns clinics in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Maryland. Brigham was arrested on Wednesday, December 28, in New Jersey for allegedly killing two viable fetuses. Dr. Nicola Riley was also arrested on similar charges in Salt Lake City. Both doctors were indicted by a grand jury in Cecil County, Maryland and await extradition hearings in Maryland.
The Pensacola clinic site has experienced numerous incidents of violence throughout its history. In 1984, the clinic, which under previous ownership at the time was known as the Ladies Center, was bombed on June 25 and on Christmas day, when it was totally destroyed. The clinic was also invaded in 1986 and several anti-abortion extremists were arrested and given prison sentences. Additionally, in 1994, Dr. John Britton and James Barrett, a clinic escort, were murdered by anti-abortion extremist Paul Hill outside the clinic. Hill later received the death penalty for his role in the killings.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 1/6/12; Associated Press 1/5/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/3/12
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. . . .