On Monday the Colorado Personhood Coalition submitted 112,121 signatures to the secretary of state, surpassing the 86,105 signatures required to get its anti-abortion initiative on the ballot in November. The signatures must be verified by state officials by September 5th. This will be the third consecutive time Colorado will have a personhood initiative on the ballot in the general election. In 2008, it got 27 percent of the vote, and in 2010 it got 30 percent of the vote.
According to the Daily Beast, Planned Parenthood said on Monday on the local Colorado news: "For the third time in the past consecutive general elections, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains today vowed to defeat the so-called personhood initiative. 'Personhood' amendments ban all abortion, specifically for victims of rape and incest. Personal, private medical decisions would be taken out of a woman's hands, and controlled by politicians and the government -- These decisions are best left to a woman, her family, and her faith."
Abortion-rights supporters argue that personhood amendments would not only strip women of their constitutional right to safe and legal abortion, but would also outlaw forms of birth control and threaten in-vitro fertilization. No state has passed a personhood measure thus far. According to NARAL Pro-Choice America (PDF), 14 state legislatures introduced 26 personhood measures in 2011. Last week Personhood USA, a national personhood organization, filed a petition with the US Supreme Court to appeal the Oklahoma Supreme Court's unanimous decision to block a personhood ballot initiative in April. The Oklahoma court said the amendment is "clearly unconstitutional."
Media Resources: US Politics Today 8/6/12; The Daily Beast 8/6/12; The Denver Post 8/6/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 87/31/12
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. . . .