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.
7/1/2015 Women's Rights Activists are Suing the Kenyan Government for Reproductive Rights - A woman in Kenya is suing the Kenyan government for failure to provide safe and legal abortions, which caused her daughter - a 15-year-old rape victim - to suffer a kidney failure after undergoing the procedure illegally.
Currently, there are four petitioners on the case: the mother of the survivor, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, and two other women's rights advocates. . . .
6/30/2015 Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Gerrymandering in Arizona - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Ginsburg this morning, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, allowing the use of independent state commissions that draw federal congressional districts, taking that power away from the state legislature.
This gives states an opportunity to deal with partisan gerrymandering by giving an independent commission power to draw federal congressional districts.
In 2000, Arizona voters amended their constitution, shifting the responsibility of drawing congressional districts, previously held by the state legislature, to a panel called the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. . . .