Mississippi Senate Bill Threatens Abortion by Pill
On Tuesday, a Mississippi state Senate committee approved a bill that could threaten the use of medical abortion in the state. It now goes before the full state Senate for debate and a possible vote.
Senate Bill 2795, also known as the "Women's Health Defense Act," [PDF] seeks to force abortion providers to follow outdated FDA guidelines for the prescription of mifepristone and misoprostol, abortion-inducing medications, and requires a physician to administer all doses. This would require women to go to four doctor appointments to complete a medical abortion, which would only be available within the first seven weeks after a woman's last normal menstrual period. The Senate bill also requires that doctors report every prescription of mifepristone to the Mississippi Department of Health.
This bill is the just the latest attempt to eliminate abortion in the state of Mississippi. Though a "Personhood" Amendment was overwhelmingly defeated in 2011, in April 2012 Mississippi's governor, Phil Bryant, signed House Bill 1390 into law. Under House Bill 1390, doctors who perform abortions must have admitting privileges at a local hospital and they must be board certified OB-GYNs. Currently both primary physicians at the state's only abortion clinic are board certified, but have been denied privileges by every local hospital. As a result, the clinic is currently facing the threat of closure.
Media Resources: Jackson Clarion-Ledger 2/5/2013; Mississippi Senate Bill 2795 2/5/2013; Feminist Newswire 11/29/2012, 11/9/2011
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .