Planned Parenthood Clinic Ordered To Hand Over Medical Records
An Iowa court recently ruled that the Storm Lake Planned Parenthood clinic must turn over names and addresses of all women who have received positive pregnancy tests between August 2001 and May 2002.
Judge Frank Nelson first ordered the clinic to provide these records last month as part of an ongoing police investigation to identify the mother of a newborn baby found dead at a recycling center in May. Planned Parenthood officials fought the order and have already filed an appeal on the latest ruling with the state Supreme Court – a judge is expected to rule on this within the next few weeks.
In last week’s ruling, Nelson said that Planned Parenthood failed to demonstrate that the test results were private medical records protected by confidentiality laws, according to the Des Moines Register. Despite Nelson’s decision, Jill June, head of Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa, has adamantly refused to hand over the records and could face contempt of court charges – which could result in six months imprisonment or a $500 fine. “Investigating women who did nothing wrong but came in to see their health-care provider is just unthinkable,” June told People magazine.
Media Resources: Des Moines Register 7/18/02; People Magazine 7/29/02; Kaisernetwork.org 7/18/02
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. . . .