Missouri 24-Hour Waiting Period Law Suspended Pending Court Case
A Missouri mandatory delay for abortion services law was suspended last Tuesday pending the outcome of a legal challenge filed by two Planned Parenthood affiliates. The law, which mandates a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion, had previously been suspended by US District Judge Scott O. Wright, according to Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region. However, an appeals court dissolved the restraining order in late May, allowing the bill to take effect. The Associated Press reports that the most recent suspension of the 24-hour waiting period law was put in place to allow Planned Parenthood to challenge the law’s constitutionality in state court.
The legislation being challenged was enacted last year when Missouri legislators overrode Governor Bob Holden’s veto. The law requires women to sign a consent form 24 hours before undergoing an abortion procedure and requires doctors to inform patients about “physical, psychological or situational risk factors involved in abortions.” In addition, according to the bill, doctors are required to have at minimum $500,000 in medical malpractice insurance.
Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region claims that the mandatory 24-hour waiting period law places an undue burden on women seeking abortions, could have a ‘cruel impact’ on victims of rape, would not decrease the number of abortions, and could pose a threat to the health of women. Current law in Missouri already requires that patients are informed of all options and of the risks inherent in a procedure before it is performed.
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. . . .