An anti-abortion activist who in February fired a shotgun into an abortion clinic faces a possible indictment for helping anti-abortion extremist and bombing suspect Eric Robert Rudolph escape capture. Brenda Kay Phillips is being held in a North Carolina jail for firing multiple shots at an abortion clinic in Asheville, NC, in the middle of the night, incurring no injuries. She is also charged with making threatening phone calls to the clinic as well as to a Birmingham, AL, clinic that had earlier been the site of a deadly explosion believed to be Rudolph's work. During the phone calls, Phillips identified herself as a member of the Army of God, the most violent wing of the anti-abortion extremist movement.
While confessing to firing shots at the Asheville clinic in order to "bring attention to abortion and to the unborn children," as she explained to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Phillips claimed to have helped Rudolph while he was on the run from authorities. FBI agents at the time dismissed her claims, but now her attorney says they are showing "renewed interest" in her story, the AJC reports. Since her initial confession, Phillips has refused to provide details about her claim, according to the Associated Press.
Eric Rudolph was captured on June 1 in Murphy, NC, after five years on the run from authorities. He is believed to be the perpetrator in bombings of two abortion clinics, and lesbian and gay nightclub, and Centennial Park in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics. These bombings have left two people dead and over 100 injured. Rudolph is a Christian Identity adherent with ties to the Army of God.
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. . . .