Michigan is on the verge of passing a ban on abortion procedures similar to the current federal law that was just declared unconstitutional by a US District Court judge in San Francisco. Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm vetoed the bill banning so-called “partial-birth” abortion, but proponents of the bill collected enough petitions to allow the state legislature to bypass the normally required Governor’s signature. Legislative leaders expect easy approval of enacting the bill into law in early June, according to the Detroit Free Press.
In October, Granholm said she vetoed the bill because "federal courts have repeatedly declared unconstitutional efforts to end partial birth abortion." The bill also did not contain an exception to protect the health of the woman. In both 1996 and 1999, anti-abortion lawmakers passed abortion procedures bans in Michigan, and both times these bans were declared unconstitutional because of the lack of a health exception, according to the Associated Press.
Enforcement of the federal abortion procedures ban was stayed by a federal judge earlier this month in a ruling that affects all 900 Planned Parenthood clinics in the country. The federal ban still faces court challenges in New York and Nebraska.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .