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.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .