Author Archive

Federal Court Permanently Strikes Down Alabama TRAP Law

In a decision issued three weeks after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments against a similar Texas TRAP law, a federal judge on Friday permanently blocked a provision in an Alabama law that would close almost all of the state's abortion clinics by unnecessarily requiring providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

Tennessee Fetal Assault Law Will Expire in July

In a win for reproductive justice advocates, a Tennessee bill that would have permanently extended the state’s dangerous “Fetal Assault Law” was defeated in a 3-3 committee vote on Tuesday. The law will now sunset on July 1st.

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Birth Control Case

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday—the 6th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—on whether religiously affiliated non-profits can use their religious beliefs to discriminate against women by blocking health insurance coverage for birth control.

Congresswomen Launch First Ever Caucus on Black Women & Girls

Congresswomen Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) launched the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls yesterday, the first caucus to focus specifically on ways to combat discrimination and reduce disparities faced by Black women.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback Moves to Defund Planned Parenthood

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has formally notified Planned Parenthood that it will ban the healthcare provider from the state’s Medicaid program, following through on a pledge made by Governor Sam Brownback earlier this year.

Senate Holds Backpage in Contempt of Congress in Sex Trafficking Investigation

The Senate voted Thursday to hold Backpage.com—a classifieds site—in contempt of Congress after the company refused to appear at a child sex trafficking hearing in November or produce relevant documents. The 96-0 vote was the Senate’s first vote for civil contempt charges in two decades.

House Oversight Committee Holds Hearings on Flint Water Crisis

As the aid package to help Flint residents is stalled in Congress, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held hearings this week to investigate what actions—or inaction—led to the water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan that produced a spike in lead poisoning and other health issues.

Senate Judiciary Committee Considers Two Anti-Abortion Bills

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Tuesday on two anti-abortion bills that seek to prohibit abortion and criminalize physicians.

Over 800,000 Federal Contract Workers Will Receive Paid Sick Days Under Proposed Rule

Acting on an executive order introduced by President Barack Obama last year, the Department of Labor issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking recently, outlining a strategy to secure paid leave for an estimated 828,000 federal contract workers, more than half of whom currently receive no paid sick days at all.

Federal Court Rejects Title IX Claim Made By Columbia Student Accused of Sexual Assault

A federal district court judge dismissed a lawsuit on Friday from a former Columbia University student who claimed that the university had violated Title IX by failing to protect him after one of his accusers, Emma Sulkowicz, publicly protested the university's failure to find him responsible for sexual misconduct.

Supreme Court Reverses Alabama Ruling Against Gay Adoption

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that every state must recognize the parental rights of same-sex parents who legally adopt a child. The decision reverses an Alabama Supreme Court decision that refused to recognize the parental rights of a lesbian mother who adopted three children in Georgia in 2007.

Louisiana Politicians Pre-File Anti-Abortion Bills

Even as the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday blocked enforcement of a Louisiana TRAP law that would have left the state with only one abortion provider, anti-abortion politicians continue to propose an onslaught of legislation that could shutter the state’s four remaining abortion clinics for good.

Activists to Senate Republicans: Do Your Job

Nearly 100 civil rights, women's rights, environmental, labor and social justice organizations bsent a letter last week to 11 Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee urging them to fulfill their constitutional duty to help vet and confirm a new Supreme Court justice following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Man Pleads Guilty To Threatening Minnesota Abortion Clinics

Anti-abortion extremist Michael John Harris pled guilty on Wednesday to threatening to kill staff, patients, and doctors at two Minnesota reproductive health clinics.

House Select Investigative Panel Holds First Hearing

The House Select Investigative Panel, formed after the release of deceptive, highly-edited videos falsely accusing Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal tissue, held its first hearing yesterday, the same day the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that will determine whether millions of Texas women will be able to access abortion.
Thousands Rally for Abortion Access at the U.S. Supreme Court

Thousands Rally for Abortion Access at the U.S. Supreme Court

At least two thousand pro-abortion rights activists rallied outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as justices heard arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a challenge to the Texas TRAP law designed to close off access to abortion.

FMF Condemns Politically-Motivated House Select Investigative Panel; Urges New Focus on Anti-Abortion Violence, Harassment & Intimidation

It is striking that the House Panel is holding its first hearing on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the Texas TRAP law designed to close off access to abortion. The time is now to reject politically-motivated attacks against abortion providers and to redirect the focus.

House Democrats Denounce Rep Blackburn’s Unilateral Use of Subpoenas Targeting Healthcare Providers

The six Democratic Members of the House Select Investigative Panel sent a letter to Chair Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Friday objecting to the Chair’s "abusive and unjustifiable" use of her subpoena authority to force healthcare providers and others to disclose the names of doctors, medical students, and clinic personnel.

Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cease Release of Secretly Recorded NAF Meetings

In a victory for abortion providers under attack from anti-abortion extremist group Center for Medical Progress, a United States District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction ordering the group and its leaders to halt the release of several surreptitiously-recorded videos filmed illegally at National Abortion Federation meetings.

US Military Generals Support Women’s Inclusion in the Draft

Just one month since opening combat roles to women, top US military officials have stated support for women's inclusion in the draft.