Arkansas: Bill Requires Abortion Providers to Offer Ultrasounds
The Arkansas House passed a bill (SB 729) Monday requiring abortion providers to offer women an ultrasound image of the fetus prior to undergoing an abortion, reported Kaisernetwork. Sponsored by Rep. Cecile Bledsoe (R) and Sen. Bobby Glover (D), the bill would mandate that physicians maintain patients’ written signed acceptance/rejection files for a minimum of three years. Violators could face disciplinary action from the state medical board. Rep. Jay Bradford (D), chair of the House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor criticized the measure saying it created unnecessary emotion burden on an already difficult decision. “You really want them to have that image, to take that with them forever? … I don’t know that the guilt involved in that is something we should be promoting,” he told the Associated Press according to Kaisernetwork. Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) is expected to sign the bill, which passed the Senate last month.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .