Cuccinelli Equates Fighting Birth Control Mandate to Civil Rights Struggle
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli likened his fight against birth control coverage without copays to the civil rights struggles led by Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday.
On a conservative radio show, Cuccinelli claimed that his campaign against birth control was actually a fight to defend religious liberty comparable to the fight by Martin Luther King, Jr. He told listeners "All they talk about -they don't talk about denying religious liberty. They talk about contraception. And I'm not talking about contraception. Government doesn't have a role in contraception. ... Government does have a role in protecting your civil rights especially today on MLK Day. The man who really came up with the American non-violent protest theory of civil disobedience. It's pretty egregious that they can't get any higher than contraception when we're talking about protecting people's religious liberty."
In a statement released by the Virginia Democratic Party, former Delegate Ferguson Reid condemned Cuccinelli's remarks "It is disappointing that Attorney General Cuccinelli would equate his opposition to birth control coverage with the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the men and women who marched and fought so that all Americans could have equal rights."
Cuccinelli has been in the spotlight on reproductive health issues before. Last year, Cuccinelli came under fire for his efforts to establish one of the strictest TRAP (Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers) laws in the country, which requires that abortion clinics in Virginia meet the same building regulations as new hospitals.
Media Resources: TPM 1/23/20113; Feminist Newswire 9/14/2012
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. . . .