Federal Court Hears Appeal in 'Nuremberg Files' Case
A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week heard an appeal by anti-abortion groups in the "Nuremberg Files" case. The case, American Coalition of Life Activists v. Planned Parenthood, originated as a suit filed in 1999 by Planned Parenthood of Oregon and four Oregon doctors listed on WANTED-style posters on the Nuremberg Files website against 13 anti-abortion extremists and the anti-abortion groups American Coalition of Life Activists and Advocates for Life Ministries.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had previously ruled that the extremists were liable for threats under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), and a jury had awarded the plaintiffs $107.5 million. In 2003, the US Supreme Court let the Ninth Circuit’s ruling stand. However, the defendants in the case are arguing that other recent Supreme Court decisions, including NOW v. Scheidler, have changed the definition of what constitutes a threat of violence, according to the Associated Press.
Maria Vullo, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, said that the anti-abortion defendants have been “refiling the case over and over again,” but she does not “believe that the court … is accepting their efforts to relitigate the case,” AP reports.
The Feminist Majority Foundation filed the major amicus brief on clinic violence in the case.
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. . . .