Supreme Court to Hear Two Cases to Stop Anti-Abortion Violence on Nov. 30
On Wednesday, November 30, at 10 am, Scheidler et al. v. National Organization for Women et al. and Operation Rescue et al. v. National Organization for Women et al. will be argued before the Supreme Court. These cases relate to stopping illegal violence directed against women's health clinics, abortion providers and their patients. The Bush administration's Department of Justice has chosen to support the positions of Joseph Scheidler and Operation Rescue.
Under the leadership of then-president Eleanor Smeal (now president of the Feminist Majority Foundation) NOW initiated this case nearly 20 years ago in an effort to stop anti-abortion extremists from continuing to plan and organize violence at women's health clinics. Two clinics of the National Women’s Health Organization (NWHO) joined NOW in taking the case. The self-described "pro-life Mafia" planned to end abortion by closing every clinic that provided abortion services. At trial, NOW and NWHO proved, as cited in their brief before the Supreme Court, that a “nationwide pattern of crimes included violent assaults and physical attacks on patients, clinic staff, and police, plus destruction of medical equipment, supplies, and other clinic property.”
The Feminist Majority Foundation authored the major amicus brief on clinic violence on behalf of major reproductive health and rights organizations.
Eleanor Smeal, president, Feminist Majority Foundation
Kim Gandy, president, NOW
Susan Hill, president, National Women’s Health Organization
Supreme Court arguments in Scheidler v. NOW and
Operation Rescue v. NOW
Wednesday, Nov. 30
9:00am demonstration begins
10:00am arguments begin
This is the third time the Supreme Court will be considering this class action case filed by NOW on behalf of all women who could potentially be patients of the approximately 2,000 health care clinics and by two named clinics (both owned and operated by NWHO) representing the class of clinics themselves.
Respondents' briefs and amicus briefs in this case, including an amicus brief signed by 47 members of Congress in support of the respondents, and the Feminist Majority Foundation's amicus brief, explain in detail the issues before the Supreme Court, a history of the illegal violence, bombings and murders and other background. More information can be found at http://feminist.org/rrights/scheidlercase.htm. Also see attached backgrounder on the cases.
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. . . .