Texas House Bill 2 gained national spotlight after Texas state Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) held a marathon filibuster to defeat the bill. It passed after Governor Rick Perry called a second special session after the filibuster and signed it in July, despite opposition by 80 percent of Texas voters and medical experts across the country. Planned Parenthood v. Abbott aims to block the portions of the bill with the most immediate impact before they take effect at the end of October: restrictions on the use of medication abortion, and a requirement that physicians who provide abortion must obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital--even though abortion is an extremely safe procedure, and other medical providers do not face the same requirements.
These restrictions would make "essential reproductive health care services for many Texans, especially poor and rural women, practically impossible to access," said Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. The Center for Reproductive Rights, along with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Texas firm George Brothers Kincaid & Horton filed the suit on behalf of the health care providers.
Northup added, "Today's lawsuit is a united strike back against the hostile politicians who have made clear their willingness to sacrifice the constitutional rights, health, and even lives of Texas women in support of their extremist ideological agenda."
Media Resources: Reuters 9/27/13; Feminist Newswire 6/26/13, 6/27/13, 7/18/13; Scribd; The Center for Reproductive Rights; The American Civil Liberties Union
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .