New Arizona Law Bans Funding for Planned Parenthood
Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona signed into law on Friday a bill that will prevent the allocation of public funds to abortion providers in the state. Ironically titled the "Whole Women's Health Funding Priority Act," the law will cut all funding for health services delivered by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, effecting the nearly 4,000 women receiving Medicaid-funded health care in the state.
Arizona does not currently provide tax dollars for abortion, but those who support the law say it is still necessary to ensure that no money goes to these organizations. The governor's signature comes just weeks after she signed a bill that bans abortion after 20 weeks.
Planned Parenthood is saying the law will put thousands of women's lives at risk. In addition to providing abortion services to women, Planned Parenthood provides a range of health services, such as STI testing, cancer screenings, vaccinations, birth control, and sexual health education often at a reduced cost for low-income women.
President of Planned Parenthood Arizona Bryan Howard said, "Many in the legislature will never know what it's like to feel a lump in their breast and have to worry about the cost of a doctor's visit. This is the reality with which many Arizona women are faced, at the hands of a legislature determined to reduce access to prevention care while pursuing its ideological political agenda."
Texas, Vermont, and Tennessee have enacted similar legislation, along with Indiana, North Carolina, and Kansas, where the laws are currently being challenged.
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. . . .