Parental Consent Measures Introduced in West Virginia, Arizona
Legislators in West Virginia and Arizona have proposed measures requiring minors to obtain parental consent before seeking an abortion. There is currently a parental notification law in West Virginia that provides an exception for minors who obtain a judicial bypass. The new legislation, proposed by Delegate Barbara Warner, would require minors to have parental permission for the abortion, with an exception only in cases of life-threatening injuries or rape. Warner has also proposed limiting the advice doctors can give to patients seeking abortion.
Senator Ken Bennett introduced a similar parental consent bill in Arizona last week. Arizona Representative Karen Johnson proposed another bill restricting access to abortion by requiring a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. Parental notification and consent laws endanger the lives and health of young women who desperately want abortions but fear telling a parent, and turn to dangerous "back alley" abortions.
Media Resources: Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report - January 18, 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. . . .