WI Planned Parenthood Challenges Medical Abortion Restrictions
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging a state law that would force doctors who perform medical abortions to face possible criminal charges. Wisconsin Act 217 went into effect in April of this year and required women seeking a medical abortion to visit the doctor three times before receiving the medication. Doctors administering the medication also had to prove that a woman was not being coerced into taking the medication.
Planned Parenthood filed a case to repeal the law in the federal U.S. District Court in Madison on the grounds that it is unconstitutional because it is so vague that doctors do not know what is necessary to comply with the law. The suit is against Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, Wisconsin district attorneys, and the state's Medical Examining Board, all of whom are supposed to enforce the law.
Teri Huyck, President of Planned Parenthood of Wisonsin, told the LaCrosse Tribune, "We are in court to make sure decisions about pregnancy once again belong to a woman, her family and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor." Since the law went into effect, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has halted dispensing the abortion pill.
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. . . .