A Colorado Senate committee has passed a bill that would ban nearly all abortions beyond the 19th week of pregnancy.
The only instance in which an abortion would be allowed past the 19th week would be if two doctors certified in writing that the fetus was not viable. The bill allows no exceptions on behalf of the woman's health.
Doctors who are found to have performed abortions in violation of the law could face mandatory 30-day jail sentences, as well as charges for murder, manslaughter, or wrongful death if an autopsy revealed that the fetus was viable.
Abortion rights advocates criticize the bill for its lack of regard for the health of pregnant women and charge that the bill's estimate of when a fetus is viable is inaccurate. Dr. Daniel Hall testified to the Senate committee that doctors are better able to judge the viability of a fetus at twenty-five to twenty-six weeks.
The bill now goes before Colorado's full Senate and then the House. The bill is not expected to make it to the Governor's desk.
Media Resources: Kaiser Family Foundation - February 11, 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. . . .