Mississippi Senate Bill Threatens Abortion by Pill
On Tuesday, a Mississippi state Senate committee approved a bill that could threaten the use of medical abortion in the state. It now goes before the full state Senate for debate and a possible vote.
Senate Bill 2795, also known as the "Women's Health Defense Act," [PDF] seeks to force abortion providers to follow outdated FDA guidelines for the prescription of mifepristone and misoprostol, abortion-inducing medications, and requires a physician to administer all doses. This would require women to go to four doctor appointments to complete a medical abortion, which would only be available within the first seven weeks after a woman's last normal menstrual period. The Senate bill also requires that doctors report every prescription of mifepristone to the Mississippi Department of Health.
This bill is the just the latest attempt to eliminate abortion in the state of Mississippi. Though a "Personhood" Amendment was overwhelmingly defeated in 2011, in April 2012 Mississippi's governor, Phil Bryant, signed House Bill 1390 into law. Under House Bill 1390, doctors who perform abortions must have admitting privileges at a local hospital and they must be board certified OB-GYNs. Currently both primary physicians at the state's only abortion clinic are board certified, but have been denied privileges by every local hospital. As a result, the clinic is currently facing the threat of closure.
Media Resources: Jackson Clarion-Ledger 2/5/2013; Mississippi Senate Bill 2795 2/5/2013; Feminist Newswire 11/29/2012, 11/9/2011
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. . . .