Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee voted 20 to 12 along party lines to approve a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks nationwide. The bill now goes before the full House of Representatives, and could be brought up for debate as early as next week.
The bill, called the Pain Capable Child Protection Act, is sponsored by Trent Franks (R-AZ), and originally applied only to the District of Columbia. However, Franks decided to expand the bill nationwide following the murder conviction of Kermit Gosnell, a rogue doctor who performed illegal abortions in Pennsylvania. The bill does not include exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormality, but does include an exception to save the life of the woman. Franks has introduced the bill in previous sessions of Congress, but it was defeated.
During the committee debate, sponsor Franks echoed other conservative lawmakers in their understanding of rape. Franks successfully dissuaded fellow lawmakers from amending the bill to include an exception from rape by arguing that "the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low." This shows striking similarity to Representative Todd Akin's remark last year, that "...from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Media Resources: Bloomberg 6/12/2013; New York Times 6/11/2013; Washington Post 6/11/2013; Feminist Newswire 6/5/2013, 8/20/2012
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .