Reproductive Rights Updates: National, Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Michigan

A new year and the same horrendous anti-autonomy horseshit with many very familiar names.

So, national news first:

Last Thursday, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) intro'd HR 23: "To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization". Also Thursday, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) intro'd HR 61: "To amend title X of the Public Health Service Act to prohibit family planning grants from being awarded to any entity that performs abortions, and for other purposes".

If you'd like to know what Title X does in your state and the population served by Planned Parenthood, Guttmacher has information for you.


In Virginia, Gov. McConnell certified TRAP legislation into being:
These TRAP laws were designed to force existing abortion clinics to meet the same building codes as new hospitals. If enacted, the new regulations would require existing clinics to come into compliance with the regulations within two years or face closure. In September 2012, the Virginia Board of Health voted 13-2 to reverse their previous decision to grandfather in existing clinics, thus exempting them from new, hospital-like restrictions.

The board's reversal on grandfathering in existing clinics came after Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli refused to accept the grandfather provision and asserted the board did not have the authority to amend the regulations by adding the provision. Cuccinelli also released a memo in September 2012 threatening Board of Health members by stating that they would not be able to receive state legal counsel if they disregarded his recommendations.
There is expected to be a 60-day public comment period before a final vote by the Board of Health.


In Texas, a judge has said that the state can leave Planned Parenthood out of the Women's Health Program while the case is in the courts:
A Texas judge denied a Planned Parenthood request for a temporary restraining order Monday that would have extended the organization's ability to participate in the state's revamped Women's Health Program.


"I have denied the request for a temporary restraining order at this time," Judge Gary Harger said. "I did not find that there would be an irreparable harm in waiting nine days for the injunction hearing."
2012: Planned Parenthood decries 'bullies'

A full hearing is scheduled for January 11 before U.S. District Judge Stephen Yelenosky on whether to grant Planned Parenthood a temporary injunction.
Oh sue, no harm at all. You know, except for those people who needed to be seen for medical reasons during this time.


Arizona is taking a page from Texas:
PHOENIX -- Attorneys for the state and abortion foes are asking a federal appeals court to let it cut off federal and state funding for Planned Parenthood because it also offers abortions.


[Steven Aden, an attorney with the privately funded Alliance Defending Freedom which is helping the state defend the law] said the state has sovereign rights in determining who can participate in the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state's Medicaid program. He said it is irrelevant that most of the funds for the program come from the federal government.


[Aden] also charged that the conclusion by the Centers for Medicaid Services that states cannot disqualify health care providers for outside reasons -- like providing abortion services -- is based not on any longstanding policy but instead was "cobbled together' in 2011 when Indiana enacted a similar measure.

"Politically driven policy positions taken by a federal agency cannot override sovereign authority of the states,' Aden wrote.
I'm sure Aden will also recall that it wasn't DHHS who made the ruling about Indiana not being able to reject Planned Parenthood but the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. It will be the 9th Circuit who determines Arizona's claim.


In Michigan, a county commissioner managed to block casino-profit sharing money from going to sex education funds--as requested by Panned Parenthood--because, in a stunning display of intellectual fortitude, he says that Planned Parenthood "kills babies".
TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse County Commissioners killed Planned Parenthood's application for a tribal-generated $12,000 grant to pay for abstinence-based sex education in area schools.

Commissioner Jason Gillman rallied other commissioners against the grant application. Gillman said he couldn't support providing any type of aid to Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan, regardless of the program.

"The organization is designed to kill babies," Gillman said. "The nicer side of it is only there to mask its evil intent. That is to kill babies."
That's some quality governance, right there. And it generally sums up the entire anti-choice movement as a whole, really.

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