Last week, a Texas court of appeals ruled that denying Medicaid funding to poor women seeking abortion violates their equal rights. Federal law prohibits the use of Medicaid funds for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment. In a 2-to-1 decision, the appeals court ruled that using those guidelines violates women's equal rights by restricting their access to medically necessary procedures, while men face no such restrictions. Judge Bea Ann Smith wrote the ruling, arguing that the decision applied to medically necessary abortion procedures only. Anti-choice advocates are protesting the decision, saying it will greatly increase the number of abortions among poor women. Pro-choice activists note that improving access to abortion could curb unsafe, illegal abortions among poor women.
In 1977, Rosie Jimenez became the first victim of the Hyde Amendment that bans the use of federal money for abortions except to save a woman's life. Jimenez was a poor, single mother saving money for college who decided to have a back alley abortion instead of using her tuition money so that she could some day make it off welfare and support herself and her daughter on her own.
To learn more about current restrictions on abortion and how to take action, check out the Study and Action Manual online.
10/17/2014 Student Activists Across the Country Are Fighting Extreme Anti-Abortion Ballot Measures - In Tennessee, North Dakota, and Colorado - three states deciding ballot measures aimed at restricting birth control access and outlawing abortion in the upcoming election - student activists are mobilizing to get out the vote.
Members of student-ledFeminist Majority Leadership Alliancegroup Vanderbilt Feminists at Vanderbilt University have been working tirelessly to get out the word about Tennessee's Amendment 1, which would take the right of privacy for reproductive rights out of the state constitution and give local legislators the power to restrict access to abortion, even in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman, and outlaw many forms of birth control, such as the IUD or the pill. . . .