On Tuesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio upheld a 2004 Ohio law that restricts the use of the drug RU-486, also known as mifepristone or the "abortion pill". The ruling bans the use of RU-486 beyond seven weeks, making a surgical procedure the only option for women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.
This puts women at greater risk due to the more invasive nature of a surgical abortion. Judge Karen Nelson Moore, who cast the lone dissenting vote in the decision, wrote, "We simply should not conclude as a matter of law that every woman who would prefer a medical abortion would be equally likely to obtain a surgical abortion." Gary Dougherty, Planned Parenthood state legislative director said, "This decision puts ideology over science, and bans a safe method of abortion early in pregnancy."
In early September, an Idaho court blocked the case of a woman who had been criminally charged for terminating her pregnancy with RU-486 instead of traveling to a clinic or hospital as required by state law. The court found that this Idaho law does not apply to pregnant women themselves, but rather to professionals like doctors who conduct abortion procedures.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .