A date has been set for the case against an anti-abortion law that could shut down the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. In an order released on Friday, U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III scheduled jury selection in the case to begin March 3, 2014.
In April, U.S. Judge Jordan extended a temporary injunction that prevented the state from closing the clinic as it tried to come into compliance with a 2012 law requiring all doctors who perform abortions at the clinic to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The injunction was extended until the constitutionality of the law can be determined in a current pending lawsuit against the state.
So far, no hospital within 30 miles of the clinic has granted admitting privileges to any of the doctors. One rejection letter stated that the clinic "is inconsistent with this hospital's policies and practices as concerns abortion and, in particular, elective abortions... The nature of your proposed medical practice would lead to both an internal and external disruption of the hospital's function and business within this community."
Media Resources: Associated Press 8/16/2013; Feminist Newswire 4/16/2013, 11/29/2012
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. . . .