South Dakota's Republican-dominated House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday that would outlaw abortion in the state if a woman's right to choose was no longer protected by the federal government. The bill, known as a “trigger statute” and sponsored by state Representative Joel Dykstra (R), would not offer exceptions for rape or incest or for the health of the woman, but only for the life of the woman, the Associated Press reports. The bill would make performing an abortion a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison.
An attempt to amend the bill to protect the health of the mother was voted down 45-25. Similarly, an attempt to make abortion legal in the event of rape or incest also failed, 46-24. According to the Associated Press, Representative Elizabeth Kraus (R) compared being raped to having an abortion, saying that “In a sexual rape, a woman is robbed of her purity. In this medical rape, she is robbed of her maternity.”
The South Dakota legislature has also recently considered two other anti-choice bills. On Monday, a bill that would ban abortion unless the woman’s life was in danger died in the state Senate’s State Affairs committee by a vote of 7-2. The other bill, which was approved by a Senate committee on Monday, would require parental notification within 24 hours of a minor having an emergency abortion, unless the minor could obtain a court order permitting confidentiality, the Associated Press reports. Under the current law, parental notification is not required for emergency abortions.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .