As federal legislation to ban all types of human cloning makes its way through the US Congress, similar proposals are appearing at the state level – many propelled by claims by anti-abortion forces that the practice threatens “unborn” lives. Currently, there are at least 48 bills to ban or regulate cloning that are making their way through legislatures in 22 states, according to USA Today. "In the absence of a ban by the federal government, states are acting on the issue," Indiana state Senator Patricia Miller (R) told Stateline.org.
Joining Michigan and Iowa, Arkansas recently enacted a complete ban on both reproductive and therapeutic cloning - the cloning of human cells to make stem cells, which could hold the key to cures for many degenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, neural injuries and diabetes. In addition, both the House and the Senate in North Dakota have approved a bill banning all types of cloning while one chamber in Indiana, Kentucky and New Jersey have passed complete bans. On the other hand, Louisiana, Virginia and Rhode Island have all passed laws banning only reproductive cloning while California has passed a law specifically supporting therapeutic cloning. Maryland, Tennessee, Washington and New York are among those predicted to do the same.
The Feminist Majority, along with other healthcare advocates, believes that cloning research is critical to finding future treatments and cures for diseases. A survey released recently shows that the majority of Americans also support stem cell research; 67 percent said they favored Congress allowing research with therapeutic cloning to continue.
Media Resources: Stateline.org 3/13/03; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 3/26/03, 3/21/03; USA Today 2/24/03
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. . . .