USA – Alabama anti-abortion law declared unconstitutional (the good news)

A federaljudge has blocked Alabama’s near-total abortion ban from taking effect inNovember 2019, saying the law is clearly unconstitutional. US District JudgeMyron Thompson issued an expected preliminary injunction temporarily blockingAlabama from enforcing the law that would make performing an abortion a felonyin almost all cases. The injunction will remain in place until he decides thefull case.

“Alabama’sabortion ban contravenes clear Supreme Court precedent,” Thompson wrote inan accompanying opinion. “It violates the right of an individual toprivacy, to make choices central to personal dignity and autonomy. Itdiminishes the capacity of women to act in society, and to make reproductivedecisions. It defies the United States Constitution.”

SOURCE: Al Jazeera, 29 October 2019 ; PHOTO: Michael Spooneybarger/Reuters


Some 876 clinicshave lost Title X federal funding after the Trump administration abortion rule,report says (the bad news)

Some 876 clinics providingcontraception, abortion and other reproductive health services have lostfunding from a federal family planning programme since the Trump administrationimplemented a regulation that bans clinics that are recipients of funds fromreferring patients to abortion services, according to a new report.

Power to Decide, anunplanned pregnancy prevention organisation, estimated that 876 clinicsnationwide, many of them Planned Parenthood clinics, had lost access to this fundingafter recipients refused to comply with the rule in order to be able to referwomen for abortion counselling and abortions who requested them.

Created nearly 50 years ago,Title X serves patients who are poor or do not have health insurance bydistributing $260 million in family planning grants annually.

Five states now lack Title X clinics, according to theKaiser Family Foundation and Power to Decide. Programme recipients in Maine,Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington all withdrew, because patients’ ability toget an abortion would be restricted. Planned Parenthood, which served 40% ofall Title X patients nationally before rejecting the funding in August, was thesole grantee in Utah.

In an effort to fill the void, the Office of PopulationAffairs gave $33.6 million in supplemental funding to remaining Title Xparticipants. A Kaiser Family Foundation report found the supplemental fundinghas not made up for the losses in 14 states, however. Paloma Zuleta, directorof media relations at Power to Decide, told NBC that clinic changes willespecially affect low-income women of colour. SOURCE: USA Today, by Kristin Lam, 28October 2019 ; Campaign news, 27 February 2019