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.
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .
4/29/2015 Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform and an End to Mass Incarceration - Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum today, addressing directly criminal justice reforms she would like to see to prevent another "incarceration generation."
"It's time the end the era of mass incarceration," Clinton declared to much applause, citing statistics about the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration that black men in America face. . . .