Circuit Court Strikes Down Arizona Anti-abortion Bill
An Arizona bill intended to strip Medicaid funding from doctors and clinics that provide abortions was defeated in court last week.
House Bill 2800 was passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2012, but Planned Parenthood challenged it before it could be enforced. The bill would have prevented low-income Medicaid recipients from receiving coverage for family planning services, annual exams, and cancer screenings from clinics that also provide abortions.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that the bill violates a federal Medicaid Act requirement that gives patients the freedom to choose their healthcare providers. Anti-choice leaders can either appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court or reintroduce the legislation at the state level in 2014.
"This is a victory for the thousands of low-income women who rely on Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical- cancer screenings, birth control and other basic health care," Planned Parenthood Arizona President and CEO Bryan Howard said in a statement.
In May, the same court overturned a 2012 state law that banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. This past legislative session was the first in more than a decade in which lawmakers failed to pass an abortion-related measure.
Media Resources: Los Angeles Times 8/22/2013; AZ Central 8/22/2013;
1/27/2015 Marissa Alexander To Be Released from Prison - Marissa Alexander is expected to be released from prison today, where she spent the last three years of her life after firing a warning shot into the air to defend herself from her estranged and abusive husband. . . .
1/27/2015 Mormon Church Moves To Protect Gay Rights - In a rare news conference today, leaders of the Mormon Church said the Church is promising to support housing and job protections for the LGBT community in exchange for legal protections for believers who object to others' behavior.
According to the Associated Press, Church leaders are making an appeal for a "balanced approach" in the clash between gay rights and religious freedom.
It's not clear how much common ground Mormons will find with this new campaign, the Associated Press story continued. . . .