Abortion Clinics Warned to Increase Security Today
Women's health clinics around the U.S. and Canada are being urged to increase security and awareness today, because of a history of violence during this time. Since 1994 there have been five sniper attacks on U.S. and Canadian physicians who perform abortions. All of these attacks have occurred on or close to Canada's Remembrance Day, Nov. 11. All of the victims were shot in their homes. Three of the five were severely injured and one, Dr. Barnett Slepian, was killed. Inspector Keith McCaskill of the Winnipeg, Canada police department has been working on a combined U.S.- Canadian task force set up in 1997 to address the increased risks. "We've learned that based on the similarities that all five shootings are likely linked," said McCaskill, who added that the task force has stressed to clinics and doctors to increase their precautions and to be aware that anti-abortion extremist James Charles Kopp, who has been charged with Dr. Slepian's murder in the U.S. and is a suspect in three Canadian shootings, is still a fugitive. In the U.S., Kopp has been placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list and rewards totaling nearly $1 million have been offered for his arrest.
Media Resources: New York Times - November 11, 1999 and Anti-Abortion Violence Watch, FMF, October 1999
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. . . .