AL Lawmaker calls Fetus "Largest Organ in the Body," Passes TRAP Law
An Alabama lawmaker justified a new TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) that could potentially shut down the handful of clinics currently open in in the state by arguing that a fetus is the largest organ in the female body on Tuesday.
In an interview about the legislation, state Representative Mary Sue McClurkin (R-Pelham) told the Montgomery Advertiser "When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body. That's a big thing. That's a big surgery. You don't have any other organs in your body that are bigger than that."
According the Guttmacher Institute, the majority of abortion procedures occur [PDF] in the first trimester when a fetus is typically less than three inches long. The average human lung is between 10 and 14 inches long.
H.B. 57, sponsored by Representative McClurkin, imposes outrageous standards on abortion clinics in an attempt to eliminate abortion in Alabama. The bill requires any doctor performing abortions in the state of Alabama to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and all clinics where abortions are performed to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. The bill was approved by the House legislature on a 73 to 23 vote and now goes before the state Senate. Similar TRAP laws threaten clinics in other states such as Virginia and Mississippi.
Media Resources: Montgomery Advertiser 2/20/2013, 2/19/2013; Feminist Newswire 1/2/2013, 11/29/2012; Guttmacher Institute 8/2011
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. . . .