Last week, a Minnesota judge dismissed a lawsuit that attempted to end state insurance coverage for abortion. The lawsuit, brought against the state by a conservative anti-abortion legal group on behalf of "taxpayers", alleged that the Department of Human Services was using tax-payer money to fund abortions for women on state assistance when the procedures were not medically necessary and without the authority to do so.
Second District Court Judge Kathleen R. Gearin dismissed the case with prejudice on Thursday. In her opinion, Gearin cited a 1995 case Doe v. Gomez, which determined that if Minnesota funded pregnancy-related care, it would be unconstitutional to not fund therapeutic abortions (when there is a medical reason to terminate the pregnancy, or if it is the result of rape or incest). She also restated the guarantee to right to privacy as stated in Doe v. Gomez: "the difficult decision to obtain a therapeutic abortion will not be made by the government, but will be left to the woman and her doctor." Since the case was dismissed with prejudice, it cannot be filed again.
Media Resources: Associated Press 5/7/2013; RH Reality Check 5/3/2013; State of Minnesota Second Judicial Court 5/2/2013
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .