Under Vratil's decision, abortion providers must offer the state provided contested information about fetal development, including fetal pain, on their websites. This decision overruled a decision by Kansas Judge Rebecca Crotty that the provision compelling providers to post such information on their websites was a violation of free speech.
The provision was part of a far-reaching law restricting abortion access that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed in early April. Provisions in the law include a 24 hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, requiring abortion providers to supply women with a list of abortion alternatives, and restricting abortion providers from receiving tax credits.
The law also includes a statement that life begins at fertilization. The provision establishes an official state opinion that prohibits direct or indirect support of abortion by the state of Kansas. The provision also means if Roe v Wade were to be overturned, Kansas could argue that abortion is immediately banned in the state based on this law.
The original case was brought by Planned Parenthood on behalf of one of their clinics in Kansas. A second case from two Kansas doctors is currently pending.
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. . . .