In a ruling issued last week, US District Court Judge Barbara Rothstein ordered the US Navy to fund an abortion for a Navy spouse carrying an anencephalic fetus. The woman, now 20 weeks pregnant, learned three weeks ago that the fetus—developing without forebrain, cerebellum, or skull—would face imminent death. The US Navy and TRICARE Management Activity, its health contractor in Seattle, refused to terminate the pregnancy; however, the couple could not afford an abortion elsewhere.
The Northwest Women’s Law Center which represented the couple in Jane Doe v. United States, et al., alleged that the Navy violated the US Constitution’s Equal Protection guarantee, which requires that the law apply equally to people who are "similarly situated." In a related case last May, Britell v. United States, a US district court ruled that the government had to pay for the abortion of an anencephalic fetus carried by an Air National Guard officer’s wife. The judge in that case chastised the government for its regulation denying such abortion coverage and forcing women in similar circumstances "to suffer carrying their anencephalic fetuses until they are born to a certain death. This rationale is no rationale at all. It is irrational, and worse yet, it is cruel."
Media Resources: NOW 8/14/02; Northwest Women’s Law Center release 8/9/02; ACLU 2/9/96; Seattle Times 8/13/02
12/1/2015 Candlelight Vigil Calls for an End to Anti-Abortion Terrorism - Last night, dozens of activists gathered outside the Supreme Court for a candlelight vigil calling for an end to anti-abortion terrorism.
The vigil, hosted by Reproaction, included representatives from NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood, the Feminist Majority Foundation, GetEQUAL, the National Council of Jewish Women, and others.
Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Mike Quigley (IL) joined the crowd and spoke of the need for abortion access and an end to the dangerous anti-choice rhetoric. . . .