Lawmakers File Appellate Brief Against Anti-Abortion Violence
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), along with a bipartisan group of more than 40 House and Senate members, will file a legal brief today in support of abortion providers and clinics asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a ruling that he says will “severely undercut the enforceability of FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act).” Last month, in the case Planned Parenthood, et al. v. American Coalition of Life Activists, et al., a three-judge panel decided in favor of anti-abortion extremists when they said that abortion providers and clinic staff must endure the distribution of "Wanted" posters and Web sites that the FBI, a federal jury, and a district court have agreed are threats of violence. Schumer fears that the ruling could incite violence at abortion clinics across the country where, as our eighth annual National Clinic Violence Survey shows, 20% of our nation’s reproductive health clinics still report severe violence or threats in 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. . . .