U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb blocked a new Wisconsin state law Monday (5-6) that would require women seeking abortions to consult with a doctor and wait 24 hours before undergoing the procedure. The law also details the specific information doctors would be required to provide. Issuing a restraining order, Crabb said the law would have a "chilling effect" on doctors who could face fines up to $10,000 for violating the law, stating that the law would substantially decrease the availability of abortion services.
The lawsuit, filed by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and three physicians who perform abortions, claims the law violates the First Amendment by requiring doctors to distribute written anti-abortion materials. The plaintiffs also say the law will discourage doctors from performing abortions and unduly burden a woman’s right to privacy. The waiting period law was signed last week by Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson.
Media Resources: The Nando Net and Associated Press - May 6, 1996
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. . . .