Restrictive Abortion Law Temporarily Blocked in Wisconsin
A Wisconsin law that would require abortion clinic doctors to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles the clinic was blocked by a state judge Friday.
Judge William Conley extended a preliminary injunction indefinitely, following a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services, who claimed that if enforced, abortion access would be restricted to the cities in Madison and Milwaukee. The law would have shut down two of the states four abortion clinics.
Conley has temporarily blocked this law three times previously. His 44-page ruling will put the law on hold indefinitely until it is decided whether or not the law is constitutional. The trial on the law scheduled to begin November 25th, 2013.
Conley wrote in his ruling, "Even if there were some evidence that the admitting privileges requirement would actually further women's health, any benefit is greatly outweighed by the burdens caused by increased travel, decreased access and, at least for some women, the denial of an in-state option for abortion services."
This law is similar to other restrictive anti-abortion legislature in other states that have been making headlines in recent months. "In Wisconsin, Texas, North Carolina and elsewhere we are seeing an unprecedented wave of attacks on women's health, and people are fed up with it," said Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood's Federation of America, following Conley's opinion.
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. . . .