Woman Challenges North Carolina Anti-Cohabitation Law
A former sheriff’s dispatcher is challenging North Carolina’s law against cohabitation after losing her job for living with her boyfriend out of wedlock. Debora Hobbs, who had been living with her boyfriend for about three years when she was hired as a Pender County 911 dispatcher in February 2004, left her job last May after her boss told her to get married, move out of the house they shared, or quit her job, reports the Associated Press.
The anti - cohabitation law, which prohibits unmarried, unrelated adults of the opposite sex to live together, is nearly 200 – years – old and is rarely enforced, according to the Associated Press. If convicted, offenders could face a fine of up to $1000 and up to 60 days in jail. North Carolina is one of seven states which such a law, reports the News and Observer.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina filed the lawsuit to declare the anti - cohabitation law unconstitutional on Hobbs’ behalf on Monday. "The Supreme Court has made it clear that the government has no business regulating relationships between two consenting adults in the privacy of their own home," said Executive Director of the ACLU of North Carolina, Jennifer Rudinger. "North Carolina's cohabitation law is not only patently unconstitutional, but the idea that the government would criminalize people's choice to live together out of wedlock in this day and age defies logic and common sense," reports an ACLU press release.
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. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .