Kopp Hires Anti-Abortion Lawyer to Better Air His Extremist Views
Anti-abortion extremist James Kopp, who is charged in the sniper-style killing of a Buffalo obstetrician/gynecologist, has been given the go-ahead to replace his defense attorney with an ardently anti-abortion attorney in an effort to turn his upcoming trial into a forum for his extremist views.
Kopp will now be represented by Bruce Barket, who is also representing Loretta Marra in her trial on charges that she and her husband Dennis Malvasi aided and abetted Kopp while he was on the run from authorities for two years. Marra agreed to the change despite the fact that it could hamper her defense, according to the Associated Press. However, US Magistrate Hugh Scott, who will preside over Marra and Malvasi’s trial, has scheduled a hearing for Nov. 12 to make a final decision on the matter.
Kopp’s previous attorney, Paul Cambria Jr., refused to reveal his own views on abortion and repeatedly stated that he would not turn the trial into a debate on abortion rights, according to the Buffalo News. Barket, on the other hand, sees abortion as a “key issue” in the trial. “Saying this case is not about abortion is like ignoring a large pink elephant in the room,” Barket told the News. “Abortion is about the taking of innocent life. What happened to Dr. (Barnett) Slepian and his family was tragic to say the least.”
Kopp is charged in the 1998 killing of Dr. Barnett Slepian, who was an abortion provider in Buffalo, in the kitchen of Slepian’s Buffalo home. Kopp also has been charged with a shooting that wounded an abortion provider in Canada and is considered the prime suspect in three other shootings of abortion providers.
Media Resources: Associated Press 10/31/02; Buffalo News 10/30/02, 10/29/02
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. . . .