"People's Filibuster" in Texas Successfully Blocks Anti-Choice Legislation
Over 700 Texans last night successfully blocked HB 60, a state bill that would shut down all but 5 abortion providers in the state, from passing in the state House as part of a "people's filibuster." The legislation passed through the Senate Tuesday.
HB 60 requires abortion clinics act as ambulatory service centers, work with doctors who have hospital admitting privileges, and schedule two in-person visits with women seeking abortions prior to the performance of the procedure. A fetal pain clause was dropped. The legislation was added to the Texas house's special session calendar by Governor Rick Perry.
700 citizens who appeared at the hearing to give testimony came to share personal stories and policy-based opinions were told at midnight by House State Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Byron Cook (R-Cosicana) that they would no longer be heard because their words were becoming "repetitive." Citizens continued speaking with or without committee members present, and eventually were given more chances to speak. "Our words are not repetitive," Lesli Simms testified. "Our government's attacks on our choice, on our bodies, is repetitive."
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. . . .