Harrisburg Abortion Clinics Granted 20 Foot Buffer Zone
Abortion clinics and other medical facilities in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, were granted a small reprieve from anti-choice protesters last week when the City Council unanimously voted to create a buffer zone around the facilities. Now protestors cannot be within 20 feet of an entrance or driveway to a medical facility without facing a fine. Planned Parenthood requested the buffer zone earlier this month in response to various incidents that have required police response since the clinic started offering medical abortions in December 2011.
The President and CEO of Planned Parenthood's Northeast, Mid-Penn, and Bucks County facilities applauded the City Council's decision "Our employees, our patients or anyone else visiting our patients at that time shouldn't have to be followed, harassed, yelled at or feel that their safety is at risk." Anti-choice activists were disappointed, claiming that the buffer zone is not needed because there are existing laws against trespassing.
City Councilwoman Sandra Reid told reporters "[The City Council] has no legislative power to tell anyone what to do with their body. We're just here to assure that those persons seeking medical care can get there without being detained or harassed."
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. . . .