Patricia Hughes, 25, pleaded guilty yesterday to setting off a small firebomb outside a Shreveport abortion clinic. Hughes and her boyfriend, Jeremy Dunahoe, 18, were originally charged in January. Last December, Dunahoe drove Hughes to the clinic where she threw a Molotov cocktail at the Hope Medical Group for Women. It was ignited, but caused minimal damage to the clinic and did not interrupt the clinic’s services. With Hughes’ plea, prosecutors agreed to disregard a prior burglary conviction that would have increased her sentence. Hughes faces up to 20 years in prison.
Jeremy Dunahoe also pleaded guilty yesterday to being an accessory to the crime. Dunahoe drove Hughes to the clinic but claimed that he was unaware of Hughes’ plans, KTBS 3 reports. He now faces up to five years in prison. Hughes and Dunahoe will both be sentenced in early August.
In her original defense, Hughes claimed that the Molotov cocktail was not intended to cause damage, but to serve as a “memorial lamp” after she had an abortion at the clinic. Prosecutors, however, showed that it was an illegal incendiary device, comprised of a shampoo bottle filled with gasoline, a rag for a fuse, and a candle, that had been thrown at the clinic.
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. . . .