Bush Will Block US Funding for International Family Planning
President Bush’s anti-woman, anti-abortion position is clear this morning, as he announces his decision to block US funding for international groups that provide women around the world with family planning information, counseling and abortion services. Ronald Reagan first issued this order, known as the Mexico City policy, in 1984. President Clinton reversed the Mexico City policy shortly after taking office, allowing international family planning groups to use their own funds to provide abortion services.
The abortion pill RU-486, also known as mifepristone, which was approved in Sept 2000 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also faces close scrutiny. Governor Tommy Thompson at his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Heath & Human Services said there might be safety concerns with mifepristone, and when asked about RU-486 in a “Face the Nation” interview, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said, “We are going to take a look at all of the regulations.” Mifepristone has been repeatedly tested and has been in use in many nations for the past dozen years. The FDA declared the drug safe and effective in 1996 and 2000. There are no safety concerns with mifepristone.
For more on the Bush Administration transition, visit www.TransitionWatch.org, co-sponsored by the Feminist Majority, Greenpeace, ACLU and the International Campaign for Tibet.
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. . . .