The landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States, Roe v. Wade was handed down 40 years ago today. While Roe v. Wade established that abortion is a private matter between a woman and her doctor, politicians and anti-choice extremists across the country have worked to restrict abortion access since even before this historic ruling.
2012 saw the second highest number of state-level anti-choice provisions enacted in a year on record. The highest was in 2011 with 93 state laws and regulations restricting abortion access enacted. However, these totals reflect provisions enacted during a calendar year, not legislative session. When considering the 2011-2012 legislative session, a total 136 anti-choice provisions were enacted.
Despite constant attacks on reproductive rights, public opinion on Roe v. Wade has remained steady. According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, 63% of those interviewed believed that Roe v. Wade should not be completely overturned compared to 29% who favored overturning the ruling. In addition, these findings reflect the same sentiments as the Pew polls conducted in the early 1990's.
Media Resources: Feminist Newswire 1/17/2013, 1/7/2013
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. . . .