The anti-abortion extremists who allegedly provided money, shelter, and support to former fugitive James Charles Kopp will now stand trial July 30 for obstruction of justice. Loretta Marra and Dennis Malvasi are suspected of helping Kopp, who is charged in the 1998 murder of Amherst, New York abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian, elude law enforcement for over two years. Authorities had been monitoring Marra and Malvasi’s communications for several months. Relying on an Internet email account and a variety of false identities, Malvasi, a convicted clinic bomber, and Marra, an often-arrested clinic blockader previously arrested with Kopp, allegedly were able to aid and abet Kopp while he was a fugitive. Law enforcement arrested Marra and Malvasi after capturing Kopp in Dinan, France last year.
Authorities are also in the process of bringing Kopp, formerly on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, to the United States to stand trial for murder. An extradition order was signed last month, but an additional appeal process could delay Kopp’s return for up to a year. In addition to the slaying of Dr. Slepian, Kopp has also been indicted for the 1995 shooting of Ontario abortion provider Dr. Hugh Short and is the primary suspect in three additional shootings of abortion providers in Canada and New York.
Media Resources: Associated Press, 4/3/02; Feminist Majority Foundation
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. . . .