Jefferson County Circuit Judge Helen Shores Lee on Wednesday awarded Emily Lyons, the nurse who was seriously injured in the 1998 Birmingham abortion clinic bombing, and her husband Jeff, $115 million in damages. The civil suit, filed in 2000 while bomb suspect Eric Robert Rudolph was a fugitive, returned to active status at the county's docket when Rudolph was captured in May. Increasing the awarded figure from the $110 million sought to $115 million, Judge Lee wrote, "Placing a bomb or incendiary device in a public place with the expectation that it will detonate and cause severe injury to all persons in its proximity is a depraved and repugnant act fully deserving of society's moral outrage," reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Associated Press. Though the Lyons' do not expect to receive money from Rudolph, they were pleased with the outcome. Attorney Scott Powell told the AJC/AP, "Eric Rudolph now will never be able to profit from his participation in any future book or movie deal."
Rudolph is charged with the January 1998 bombing of the New Woman All Women Health Care clinic that killed off-duty police officer Robert "Sande" Sanderson and injured Lyons, who has undergone 20 surgeries to remove bomb shrapnel from her face and body and also became blind in her left eye. Rudolph is also charged with the 1996 Olympic Park bombing and the bombing of a lesbian and gay nightclub in Atlanta.
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. . . .