Alaska Proposes Changes to Abortion Funding Process
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has released proposed changes to the regulation of abortion services. The proposed changes modify the conditions that qualify an abortion procedure for federal reimbursement. The new language reads that a woman can be reimbursed if, "the mother is endangered by the pregnancy."
The changes have raised alarm among pro-choice groups in Alaska. Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Clover Simon has expressed concern over the vague language of the law. Simon said to Alaska's KTUU, "Best-case scenario: it doesn't mean anything and women are able to access services as they always have. Worst-case scenario: it's the first step in narrowing the definition." Low income women are likely to be the most at risk in these changes.
Pro-choice advocates are also wary of a new separate form required for reimbursement. The form must be completed by the doctor, and includes the woman's name. A separate form is not required for any other procedure reimbursement and may impede the woman's reimbursement process. The Alaska Dispatch reports that in 2001, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the state "cannot selectively deny necessary care to eligible women merely because the threat to their health arises from pregnancy."
The Department of Health and Social Services is accepting public input on the changes until July 30th. After the public comment period ends, the proposed law will be reviewed and then either approved or rejected by the Department of Law.
6/29/2015 The Supreme Court Just Saved Texas Abortion Clinics - The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 today to put a temporary hold on a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that would have closed all but 9 of the state's abortion clinics in Texas.
The order from the Supreme Court comes in response to an emergency request filed by women's health care providers on the behalf of Texas women earlier this month asking the Court to stay House Bill 2, which would have taken effect as law on Wednesday. . . .
6/26/2015 Supreme Court Declares Marriage Equality a Constitutional Right - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Anthony Kennedy this morning, the Supreme Court of the United States declared that same-sex couples fundamentally have equal protections under the Constitution.
The Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all 50 states to both license a marriage and recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex. . . .
6/26/2015 President Obama Delivers Moving Eulogy in Charleston - The nation is remembering the nine victims of the Emanuel AME Church mass shooting this week, as President Obama gave an unforgettable eulogy for State Senate Reverend Clementa Pinckney.
President Obama knew Reverend Pinckney personally, meeting him during his 2008 election campaign. . . .