Human Life International Feud Reveals Anti-Choice Infighting
A conflict between founder Rev. Paul Marx and new leader Rev. Richard Welch has cost Human Life International ("HLI) clout, and has revealed a deep conflict in the Orthodox Catholic anti-choice movement, and has not broken into public view with a major story in The Washington Post. The Kaiser Daily Health Report called the HLI argument an indication of widespread infighting and a lack of unity in the anti-choice movement. HLI itself has lost the support of The Wanderer, a right-wing Catholic newspaper, and reported a 28% decrease in donations since September. Some former supporters say they abandoned HLI when Welch "diluted [the group's] orthodox orientation by abandoning its hard-line stance against sex education." They have formed a "Donor Rights" group to lobby for the removal of Welch and claim Marx was ousted in a coup. Meanwhile, Marx was ordered back to his Benedictine Abbey in Minnesota and has been suspended from saying Mass "because he broke his vow of obedience" by continuing to attack HLI leadership.
Human Life International is a Roman Catholic non-profit organization that openly opposes "contraception, abortion, 'radical feminism,' and sex education in schools." Moreover Marx, its controversial founder, has been accused of being anti-Semitic; in a 1970s HLI newsletter, he urged his readers to note "'the large number of abortionists… and pro-abortion medical professors who are Jewish.'"
With abortion legal in the United States, despite increasing legal restrictions against a woman's right to choose, HLI has focused on an international campaign to limit women's access to reproductive health services and information. They and other anti-choice advocates, says The Washington Post, are turning to infighting in the face of the strength of the pro-choice movement.
Media Resources: The Washington Post - 11 April, 2000 and The Kaiser Daily Health Report - 11 April, 2000
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. . . .