Florida Adoption Law Forces Disclosure of Intimate Details
For the first time since its enactment last October, a Florida adoption law that requires pregnant women considering adoption to publish intimate details about their sexual history — purportedly to identify the father — was challenged by six women claiming it unconstitutionally violates their privacy. The new law, pushed by Democratic State Senator Skip Campbell, stipulates public disclosure of the pregnant woman’s name, identification and/or description of possible fathers, and the date and place of conception. Previously, state adoption laws only required release of the baby’s birth date and birthplace.
Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Peter Blanc ruled last month that the current law is unconstitutional only in cases where women have been raped. Otherwise, women —including underage women — are required to post newspaper notices with information on their sexual history. “We do these publications every week and they are horrible, degrading and they are reminiscent of The Scarlet Letter,” said Jeanne Tate, executive vice president of the Florida Association of Adoption Professionals. Charlotte Danciu, the attorney representing the six women, said she would seek to overturn part of Blanc’s decision.
Media Resources: Sun-Sentinel.com 8/7/02; Associated Press 8/7/02
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. . . .