Execution of Anti-Abortion Terrorist Could Further Violence, Groups Warn
With the September 3 execution date for anti-abortion terrorist Paul Hill drawing near, the Feminist Majority Foundation and other groups working to stop anti-abortion violence have urged clinics to take extra security measures, fearing that Hill's death could trigger violent incidents. Hill, 50, was convicted for murdering Florida abortion provider Dr. John Bayard Britton,69, and his volunteer escort James Barrett, 74, outside a Pensacola clinic in 1994. One anti-abortion website has already published a lengthy and detailed fictional account of Hill's execution, imagining that more murders of abortion doctors would follow.
The death penalty opposition group Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP) last Friday submitted a letter to Governor Jeb Bush urging that he commute the death sentence. "By helping Paul Hill to martyr himself, you will give Hill and his followers a platform to encourage others to copy the crime... The martyrdom of Paul Hill will be a prime example of how the death penalty can actually encourage more murder and violence," wrote FADP Director Abe Bonowitz, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, earlier this week Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist, Corrections Secretary James Crosby and Prison Warden Joseph Thompson received death-threat letters from unknown sources containing bullets and opposing Hill's execution. State law enforcement officials have launched an investigation of the letters and bullets.
FMF's National Clinic Access Project is the largest of its kind in the U.S., leading efforts to keep women's health clinics open in the face of a war of attrition waged by abortion opponents.
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. . . .