Anti-abortion activist Jennifer Rock told the Erie County Court on Friday that she helped James Kopp while he was on the run from authorities seeking to question him in the 1998 murder of Dr Barnett Slepian. Kopp, who confessed to the shooting of the obstetrician/gynecologist and abortion provider, maintains that he only intended to wound the doctor, not kill him.
Rock told the court that for three days in November, 1998, she helped Kopp elude capture, including dying his brown hair red, giving him a fake driverís license and $7,000 in cash, and driving him to Mexico, according to the Associated Press. Rock was promised immunity from prosecution in return for her testimony, AP reports.
In related news, journalists will be allowed to photograph but not televise the trial, a decision that disappoints Kopp, according to his lawyer. Kopp plans to take the stand during his trial and wanted his testimony televised, according to AP. The trial date is set for March 17.
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. . . .