55 Percent of Women Live in States Hostile to Abortion
A study published by the Guttmacher Institute found that 55 percent of reproductive-age women in the United States reside in states that are "hostile" to women's rights to have an abortion. This is an increase from the 31 percent found in a 2000 student.
Rachel Benson Gold, "In 2000, the country was more evenly divided: nearly a third of women lived in states solidly hostile to abortion rights, slightly more than a third in states supportive of abortion rights and close to a third in middle-ground states. By 2011, however, more than half of women of reproductive age lived in hostile states. This growth came largely at the expense of the states of the middle. Only one in 10 women lived in a middle-ground state by 2011."
Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher's state issue manager, indicated that states in the North and on the West coast were more supportive of abortion rights. Moreover, in 2000, half of the 13 states in the South were opposed to abortion rights; however, by 2011, all had become hostile to abortion rights.
The researchers determined whether states were hostile based on whether they required parental consent prior to a minor's abortion; required pre abortion counseling and/or an ultrasound for women seeking abortions; prohibited Medicaid funding of abortion, expect if the women's life was endangered or she had been a victim or rape or incest; limited abortion coverage in private health plans; imposed "medically inappropriate restrictions on the provision of medication abortion"; or required "onerous requirements" for facilities that perform abortions."
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. . . .