Obama Gets Tough On Abortion Protesters; State Abortion Laws Challenged In Courts
Access to abortion clinics and challenges to new state abortion laws are in the news.
NPR: Obama Takes Tougher Stance On Abortion Protesters
The Obama Justice Department has been taking a more aggressive approach against people who block access to abortion clinics, using a 1994 law to bring cases in greater numbers than its predecessor. The numbers are most stark when it comes to civil lawsuits, which seek to create buffer zones around clinic entrances for people who have blocked access in the past (Johnson, 9/1).
The Associated Press: Kansas To Comply With Planned Parenthood Order
Kansas officials said Wednesday the state will obey a federal judge's order to immediately fund Planned Parenthood clinics while the state pursues an appeal. The state is appealing a decision that blocked enforcement of a new statute stripping it all of all federal funding for non-abortion services (Hegeman, 8/31).
Wall Street Journal: Texas' Perry Condemns Court Ruling Blocking Portions Of Sonogram Law
[The law] would require every woman seeking an abortion to have a sonogram and to listen to a description of the fetus, including whether it has developed limbs or internal organs. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks upheld the sonogram requirement in an order filed late Tuesday, but he barred the state from requiring physicians to describe the fetus or requiring women to hear it until the case is resolved. Texas Governor Rick Perry, now vying for the Republican presidential nomination, immediately condemned the decision (Campoy, 9/1).
The Associated Press/ABC News: Idaho Woman Challenges State’s New Fetal Pain Law
An eastern Idaho woman has filed what is believed to be the first lawsuit in the nation to directly challenge the constitutionality of a so-called "fetal pain" abortion ban. Jennie Linn McCormack filed suit in federal court against Bannock County's prosecuting attorney, contending Idaho's new law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy violates the Constitution. Idaho is one of six states that have enacted such bans in the past two years. The bans are based on the premise that a fetus may feel pain at 20 weeks (Boone, 8/31).