A North Dakota Judge has overturned a 2011 law that restricted drug-induced abortions yesterday, citing it as unconstitutional. East Central Judicial District Judge Wickham Corwin stated that, "I remain convinced that a woman's reproductive rights must be protected under the state constitution and must be recognized as fundamental," at the end of the three day civil trial.
The legislation, House Bill 1297, outlawed the use of medication for the intent of ending a pregnancy, despite this being a safe and common alternative to surgical abortions. The case was originally brought to court in July of 2011 by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), representing the Red River Women's clinic, the only women's clinic in North Dakota currently providing abortion services.
Nancy Northrup, the president and CEO of The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), said of the ban, "These efforts to keep North Dakota women from the best available medical care and deny them their right to make their own decisions about their pregnancies, their families, and their futures are not only disingenuous, but wholly unconstitutional."
Media Resources: Park Rapids Enterprise 4/19/13; Raw Story 4/19/13; San Francisco Chronicle 4/18/13
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. . . .