The House Judiciary Committee Approves Teen Abortion Bill
The House Judiciary Committee voted 16-13 to approve legislation that curtails a woman's right to choose to have an abortion. The measure states that "anyone who takes a pregnant teenager to another state without a parent's knowledge for an abortion could face federal prosecution."
The bill would make it illegal for a person other than the girl's parent or guardian to take her out of state to have an abortion if the home state has parental involvement laws. Punishment for violating this law includes a maximum of one year in jail, $100,000 in fines, and parents of the girl can file a civil lawsuit.
Democrats, who oppose the measure, say the bill will force many teenagers to seek back-alley abortions if they cannot confront their parents because of abuse or for other reasons, and that this law is attempting to curtail "a woman's constitutional right to an abortion." Senator Maxine Waters passionately noted that "This committee...has consistently today resisted any opportunity for a woman, under the most extreme condition, to exercise freedom of choice."
The bill will go in front of the House as early as next week. Similar legislation is being presented in the Senate.
Media Resources: AP and Nando Times - June 23, 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. . . .