On Tuesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio upheld a 2004 Ohio law that restricts the use of the drug RU-486, also known as mifepristone or the "abortion pill". The ruling bans the use of RU-486 beyond seven weeks, making a surgical procedure the only option for women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.
This puts women at greater risk due to the more invasive nature of a surgical abortion. Judge Karen Nelson Moore, who cast the lone dissenting vote in the decision, wrote, "We simply should not conclude as a matter of law that every woman who would prefer a medical abortion would be equally likely to obtain a surgical abortion." Gary Dougherty, Planned Parenthood state legislative director said, "This decision puts ideology over science, and bans a safe method of abortion early in pregnancy."
In early September, an Idaho court blocked the case of a woman who had been criminally charged for terminating her pregnancy with RU-486 instead of traveling to a clinic or hospital as required by state law. The court found that this Idaho law does not apply to pregnant women themselves, but rather to professionals like doctors who conduct abortion procedures.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .