FL: Adoption Law Mandating Disclosure of Intimate Details Set to Change
A Florida adoption law that requires pregnant women considering adoption to publish intimate details about their sexual history — purportedly to identify the father—is getting an overhaul, reports Reuters. Enacted in October 2001, the law—pushed by Democratic State Sen. Walter “Skip” Campbell—mandates public disclosure of the pregnant woman’s name, identification and/or description of possible fathers, as well as the date and place of conception. Last July, after six women filed a lawsuit charging the law unconstitutionally violates their privacy, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Peter Blanc ruled the law is unconstitutional only in cases where women have been raped.
However, attorneys for the state failed to appear yesterday before the Fourth District Court of Appeals to defend the law. The Associated Press reports that Sen. Campbell is now drafting a revised bill—replacing the public disclosure mandate with a confidential registry that notifies potential fathers should their listed sex partner place a baby for adoption. The new legislation, based on similar adoption laws in New York, Minnesota and Texas, is expected to move gain quick approval in March and be “one of the first bills passed and signed by the governor,” Sen. Campbell told Reuters.
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. . . .