A Georgia court on Monday ruled that the state is not required to pay for medically necessary abortions for poor women through Medicaid. Seven Georgia clinics, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), had submitted an emergency request to cover abortions under Medicaid that are deemed necessary to protect a woman's health, basing their claim on the Georgia State Constitution's rights to privacy and equal protection. "We are not asking for special treatment for abortion, only that abortion be covered as all other medically necessary care," said Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, in a press statement.
The Hyde Amendment of 1976 excludes abortion from the health care services provided to low-income people by the federal government through Medicaid. Currently, the federal Medicaid coverage of abortions to cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the woman. Sixteen states cover medically necessary abortions under Medicaid, and 13 of these states were ordered to do so by the courts. "We are disappointed," said Leola Reis, a vice president of Planned Parenthood of Georgia, one of the plaintiffs in the case. "However, this is just the first step in a lengthy legal process, and we remain optimistic that the court will ultimately protect poor women's health," she said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A recent Georgia Legislative Poll shows that almost 70 percent of registered voters in Georgia support coverage of medically necessary abortions under Medicaid, according to the ACLU.
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .