Despite what seemed like a sure thing, anti-abortion members of Congress refused at the last minute to agree to a provision in the long-debated bankruptcy bill that would have prevented anti-abortion extremists from declaring bankruptcy to avoid paying fines assessed for threats or perpetration of clinic violence. The Schumer-Hatch amendment, which was first introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) in 2000, was approved by the Senate in March as well as by House-Senate negotiators who announced a compromise on the bill last week. However, several anti-abortion Republicans, led by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) revolted against the compromise during debate early Saturday morning – despite the fact that President Bush had indicated he would sign the bill. Republican leaders say that they will push the bill through in September when Congress comes back from its summer break, according to the Associated Press.
Declaring bankruptcy is a strategy that has been attempted by a number of anti-abortion extremists, including six of the defendants in the recently upheld Planned Parenthood v. American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA). These extremists, along with Operation Rescue leaders such as Randall Terry, Joseph Foreman, and Joseph Scheidler, would be held responsible for penalties levied against them if the provision were to be approved by Congress. The Feminist Majority has joined the National Abortion Rights and Action League, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Abortion Federation, the National Women's Law Center, the National Organization for Women as well as many women members of Congress in advocating for Schumer-Hatch Amendment.
The bulk of the bill is viewed as a handout to credit card companies by requiring that more people who file for bankruptcy are not completely exempted from their outstanding debts. In addition, the bill provides for credit card debt to be paid ahead of child support and alimony. The Feminist Majority opposes the overall bill because it favors corporations over low-income families.
Media Resources: Associated Press 7/28/02; Feminist News 7/26/02
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .