Following in the steps of South Dakota, the Louisiana State Senate is considering a near-total ban on abortions in the state, which would allow abortions only to save the life of a pregnant woman. The bill does not include exceptions for a woman’s health, or cases of rape or incest. Senator Ben Nevers (D), sponsor of the bill, told the Associated Press that he sympathizes with rape and incest victims, but “abortion is just another crime.” The bill does not punish women directly, but would fine anyone who performs an abortion between $10,000 and $100,000, a jail term of one to ten years, or a combination of a fine and jail time.
Yesterday, after two hours of testimony from doctors and women on both sides of the measure, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee passed the bill without objection after Nevers agreed the measure would only go into effect following an overturn of Roe v. Wade. Senator Lydia Jackson (D) called the bill "feel-good legislation," that would have little effect, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune, but she also told the Associated Press that it made clear “how little control women have over their lives” in Louisiana.
The bill now moves to the Senate floor, where many Senators have said they do not have a sense of what the likely outcome will be, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Pro-choice advocates have pledged to challenge the constitutionality of the law if it is passed.
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. The court's decision denied their request to temporarily block the legislation pending a final ruling on its constitutionality, rubber stamping the efforts of Oklahoma politicians to force doctors to use an outdated protocol for administering a medication abortion using the drug mifepristone - one that the medical community and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have rejected in favor of a new standard of care that calls for a significantly lower dosage. . . .
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .