Federal Court Rules in Favor of Planned Parenthood
Yesterday, a Federal Court of Appeals ruled that Planned Parenthood could not be denied government funding under Medicaid regardless of whether or not the organization has clinics that offer abortions.
In the ruling, U.S. Circuit Judge Diane Sykes wrote, "The defunding law excludes Planned Parenthood from Medicaid for a reason unrelated to its fitness to provide medical services, violating its patients' statutory right to obtain medical care from the qualified provider of their choice."
According to the Huffington Post, "Planned Parenthood of Indiana receives about $3 million a year from the federal government and serves about 22,000 low-income patients."
Last week, the Texas health and human services commissioner announced a plan to end the Texas Women's Health Program if a federal appeals court allows Planned Parenthood to continue participating in the program. Additionally, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction that blocks an Arizona law prohibiting federal funding, through Medicaid, for health providers like Planned Parenthood who also perform abortion services.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 10/23/12; Business Week 10/23/12; Feminist Newswire 10/22/12; Feminist Newswire 10/23/12
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. . . .