Conservative legislatures all across the country have managed to create a wave of court challenges to their attempted takeover of women’s health choices. Budget-challenged states can hardly afford these legal battles; but as usual, personal ideology trumps everything else where Conservatives are concerned.
From requiring the dispensing of information proven to be medically false, to the imposition of “informed consent”, which implies women are unable to make informed decisions without the “guidance” of the state; anti-choice legislators have squandered legislative time and state monies to pursue their personal agendas.
More importantly, conservatives are attempting to relegate women to second class citizens, who must seek the government’s permission on choices relating to their personal family planning decisions; something more in line with Communist China than the United States. Luckily, women and organizations across the country are making it clear that we will not stand for government control of reproduction.
A Recap of Just Some of the Legislation From Across the Country from Women’s Health Policy Report, published by the National Partnership for Women & Families (Emphases within paragraphs are mine):
- House Subpanel Approves Funding Ban for Planned Parenthood, Title X as Part of FY 2013 Labor-HHS Spending Bill
- Kansas: Hodes & Nauser v. Robert Moser: Challenge in state court to Kansas regulatory scheme, scheduled to go into effect on November 14, 2011, that would prevent the provision of abortion services in any medical establishment not licensed as an abortion facility, even where prompt termination of pregnancy is needed to prevent serious harm to the woman’s health.
- ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri v. Praeger: Challenge to a Kansas law that prohibits insurance coverage of abortion and abortion-related services. In September, 2011, the U.S. District Court denied a motion for preliminary injunction. Current Status: In March 2012, the court denied a motion to dismiss and allowed the lawsuit to go forward. (See the law here. See the court opinion here.)
- Red River Women’s Clinic, Kathryn Eggleston, M.D., v. Birch Burdick and Terry Dwelle: Challenge to North Dakota law that would effectively ban all medication abortions in the state by requiring compliance with conditions for the provision of “abortion-inducing drugs” that are impossible to meet. (See the law here. See the court opinion here. Read more here.)
- Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region v. DeWine: Challenge to Ohio law restricting the use of mifepristone for medication abortion. In May 2011, the U.S. District Court upheld the law as constitutional in most respects. That decision is currently being appealed. Current Status: Oral arguments are scheduled for June 2012 before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. (See the law here.)
- Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Horne: Challenge to 2010 Arizona abortion clinic licensing regulations that effectively prohibit qualified nurse practitioners from providing first-trimester surgical abortion and medication abortion, prohibit qualified physician assistants from providing medication abortion, and impose medically unnecessary and inappropriate clinical requirements on the provision of medication abortion. Current Status: The law is currently in effect pending outcome of the case. (See the law here.)
- Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice v. Terry Cline: Challenge to an Oklahoma law that would impose severe restrictions on use of mifepristone for medication abortion. Current Status: In May 2012, the Oklahoma District struck down the law as violating the U.S. and Oklahoma Constitutions. The State has appealed that ruling. (See the law here. See more about the case here.)
- Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Carol E. Ball, M.D. v. Daugaard: Challenge to a South Dakota law that would require a woman to wait seventy-two hours between her initial physician consultation and the abortion, force her to visit a crisis pregnancy center before abortion care, and require abortion providers to tell patients about any possible risk factor that have been published in any medical or psychological journal since 1972, including “risks” that have been roundly rejected by mainstream medicine.Current Status: In June of 2011, the U.S. District Court granted a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the law. (See the law here. See the court opinion here.)
- Texas Medical Providers Performing Abortion Services v. Lakey: Challenge to a Texas law which prohibits a woman from getting an abortion unless her physician first performs an ultrasound, places the ultrasound images in her view, describes the images to her, makes fetal heart sounds audible, if possible, and describes those sounds to her, whether or not she wants to see or hear them.Current Status: In January of 2012, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s decision enjoining the law pending resolution of the suit. (See the law here. See the court opinion here. Read more here.)
- Planned Parenthood of Austin Family Planning v. Suehs: Challenge to Texas rule prohibiting Planned Parenthood affiliates and other entities affiliated with abortion providers from participating in Texas’ Medicaid Women’s Health Program. Current Status: In May 2012, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a U.S. District Court decision granting a preliminary injunction preventing the law from going into effect pending trial. (See the rule here. See the district court opinion here. See the Fifth Court order here.)
- Stuart v. Huff: Challenge to a North Carolina law which prohibits a woman from getting an abortion until four hours after her physician performs an ultrasound, places the ultrasound images in her view, and provides her with a detailed explanation and description of the images, whether or not she wants to see the images or hear any or all of the description.Current Status: In December 2011, the U.S. District Court judge granted a preliminary injunction against enforcement of parts of the law. (See the law here. See the court opinion here. Read more here.)
- Nova Health Systems v. Edmondson: Challenge to an Oklahoma law which prohibits a woman from getting an abortion unless she first has an ultrasound image and listens to her doctor describe the image in detail. Current Status: In March 2012, the U.S. District Court struck down the law as unconstitutional. The State has appealed that ruling. (See the law here. Read more here.)
Links to more information on the war on women’s rights: