Reproductive Rights groups, including the Feminist Majority Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the National Abortion Rights League, will oppose the No Tax-Payer Funding for Abortion bill (HR 3), introduced yesterday by Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), Congressional Pro-Life Caucus Co-Chair with the support of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). The No Tax-Payer Funding for Abortion Act would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions and would ensure that healthcare reform law does not cover the cost of abortions.
Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) stated that the Smith bill "would be the biggest intrusion on a woman's right to choose in our lifetime. This is not the will of the American people." Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, explained, "The Smith bill even goes as far as to take existing protections away from women whose lives are in danger from serious medical conditions."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) described the bill as "one of our highest legislative priorities." During the 2010 campaign, Boehner made promises to be the most "pro-life speaker in history." Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, countered, "The 2010 elections were about jobs and the economy. It was not an endorsement of an anti-choice agenda."
Media Resources: NPR 1/21/11; CNN 1/20/11; NARAL Pro-Choice America 1/21/11; Statement of Planned Parenthood 1/20/11; National Partnership for Women and Families 1/20/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/10/11, 1/6/11
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. . . .