Supreme Court Preview: Scheidler v NOW, Operation Rescue v NOW
The Supreme Court will hear two related cases on Wednesday involving violence against women's health clinics and access to abortion services. The cases, Scheidler v. National Organization for Women (NOW), et. al. and Operation Rescue v. National Organization for Women, et. al., stem from a case initiated in 1986 by Eleanor Smeal as president of the National Organization for Women (Smeal is currently president of the Feminist Majority Foundation).
This is the third time the Supreme Court will be considering this class action case on behalf of all women who could potentially be patients of womenís health care clinics and virtually all womenís health care providers.
NOW, with the Delaware Womenís Health Organization and the Summit Womenís Health Organization, both owned and operated by the National Womenís Health Organization, filed this case in an effort to stop a nationwide pattern of crimes, including violent assaults and physical attacks on patients, doctors, clinic staff, and police, as well as destruction of medical equipment, supplies, and other clinic property.
At issue is a nationwide injunction prohibiting PLAN and Operation Rescue from conducting blockades, trespassing, damaging property, or committing acts of violence directed at the clinics. The injunction has not affected peaceful protests. Also at issue is whether the Hobbs Act, a federal statute, can be used to curb such violence and whether violations of the Act are sufficient to support the imposition of the nationwide injunction.
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. . . .