Abortion Waiting Period Signed into Law in Wisconsin
A law signed Tuesday (4-30) by Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson will require women seeking an abortion to consult with a doctor twice at least 24 hours before obtaining an abortion. Victims of rape who have filed a police report are not subject to the law, nor are victims of incest who have filed a police report in cases where one of the parties involved is a minor. Women who are incest victims of adult males are forced to adhere to the waiting period. Doctors violating the law could be subjected to fines up to $10,000.
Arguing that the law is unconstitutional, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin planned to seek an injunction Wednesday to prevent the law from taking effect. According to PPW president Severa Austin, the Wisconsin law goes further than similar laws in about a dozen states because it requires two visits rather than one. It also requires doctors to follow specific procedures in their discussions with patients including giving her booklets with pictures of fetuses and providing oral and written information about alternatives to the procedure and its risks.
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. . . .