Indiana Supreme Court Expands Medicaid Coverage for Abortions
Last week, Indiana's Supreme Court expanded Medicaid coverage to include abortions for low-income women when the pregnancy poses a serious risk to the woman's health. The 3-2 decision extends previous coverage of abortions, which were formerly only paid for under Medicaid when a woman's life was at risk or when the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, according to the Indianapolis Star.
The decision settles a lawsuit filed in 1999 by the Clinic for Women in Indianapolis, the Women's Pavilion in South Bend, and two Indiana doctors. The lawsuit contended that the state violated the rights of low-income women, according to Indiana's constitution, Kaisernetwork.org reports. The decision of whether a pregnancy constitutes a "serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment" to a woman's health such that an abortion would be covered under Medicaid will be made by doctors, according to the Associated Press.
"While we are disappointed that the Supreme Court did not hold that all medically necessary abortions must be funded, we are gratified that the state of Indiana can no longer deny Medicaid coverage for abortions to low-income women whose health is seriously imperiled by a pregnancy," said Bebe J. Anderson of the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), who served as lead counsel in the case, according to a press statement. According to CRR, 13 states have been ordered by state courts to cover all medically necessary abortions under the state's Medicaid program.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .