Federal Judges Rules AZ Defunding of Planned Parenthood Unconstitutional
On Friday, a federal judge overturned an Arizona law that prohibited funds from the state's Medicaid program from going to Planned Parenthood because they are affiliated with abortion providers.
U.S. District Judge Neil Wake wrote in his ruling, "The Arizona Act violates the freedom of choice provision of the Medicaid Act precisely because every Medicaid beneficiary has the right to select any qualified health care provider." He determined that the law blocking funding of Planned Parenthood by saying that any provider that performs abortions cannot be considered a "qualified provider" was an attempt by legislators to defund Planned Parenthood regardless of what funds were used.
Wake issued an injunction against the law in October 2012 while the case was pending. In July 2012, Planned Parenthood sued the state of Arizona in an effort to overturn the law that blocked it from receiving government funds. The law was signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in May 2012 and was designed to prevent the allocation of public funds to clinics that also provide abortion in the state. The law would have effectively cut funding for all health services provided by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, impacting the nearly 4,000 women receiving Medicaid-funded health care in the state. Arizona does not currently provide tax dollars for abortion and these funds were all allocated for other health services.
Media Resources: Arizona Daily Star 2/13/2013; Huffington Post 2/11/2013; Reuters 2/11/2013; Feminist Newswire 10/23/2012
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .