Mississippi Abortion Clinic Fights to Keep Doors Open
The Jackson Women's Health Organization (JWHO) and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a motion for a preliminary injunction Wednesday against a state law which could close its doors early next year. Under House Bill 1390, passed in April 2012, doctors who perform abortions must have admitting privileges at a local hospital and they must be board certified OB-GYNs. Currently both primary physicians at the clinic are board certified, but have been denied privileges by every local hospital.
According to Reuters, applications were sent to every hospital within 30 miles of the clinic on behalf of all the physicians by clinic owner Diane Derzis. Each hospital denied privileges and some even refused to consider the applications all based on the fact that the doctors are abortion providers. One rejection letter stated that the clinic "is inconsistent with this hospital's policies and practices as concerns abortion and, in particular, elective abortions... The nature of your proposed medical practice would lead to both an internal and external disruption of the hospital's function and business within this community."
Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, told CNN, "Anti-choice politicians were very clear that they had one thing in mind when they passed this law: to shut down Mississippi's only abortion clinic. ...It isn't a surprise to anyone that the physicians at the Jackson Women's Health Organization haven't been able to obtain admitting privileges at any local hospital."
In July, JWHO challenged House Bill 1390 contending that the law is not medically necessary and is designed to close the clinic. A Judge ruled to let the strict anti-choice law stand, but allowed the clinic more opportunity to comply with the new regulations. If the clinic does not gain hospital privileges by January 6th, 2013, it will be forced to close as early as February.
Media Resources: CNN 11/28/12; Huffington Post 11/28/12; MSNBC 11/28/12; Reuters 11/28/12; Feminist Newswire 7/16/12
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. . . .