Press Releases

News: November 7, 2006

Breaking News

1. Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood Argument in U.S. Supreme Court TODAY!

On November 8, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court will review Gonzales v. Carhart and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood. Carhart and Planned Parenthood are two challenges to the Federal Abortion Ban, also known as the "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003."

How did these two cases get to the U.S. Supreme Court?

After submission of their amicus brief (a party or an organization interested in an issue which files a brief or participates in the argument in a case in which that party or organization is not one of the litigants), the Center for Reproductive Rights obtained certiorari. A writ of certiorari is an order issued by the U.S. Supreme Court [or any higher court] to a lower court to send all the documents in a case to it so the U.S. Supreme Court can review the lower court's decision. The U.S. Supreme Court is selective about which cases it will hear on appeal and can grant a writ of certiorari at its discretion and only when at least three members believe that the case involves a sufficiently significant federal question in the public interest, such as abortion access.

The Center for Reproductive Rights will make their oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court today. NLIRH will continue to monitor this case as well as other cases and support legal efforts toward protecting women’s reproductive rights. If you would like to read the amicus brief and the petitioner and respondent briefs, please visit the U.S. Supreme Court docket.

2. Another Attack to Immigrant Women’s Rights

On November 2 the Federal government announced that it would make states comply with a federal policy signed into law in February that would force undocumented immigrant women to prove that their child is a U.S. citizen in order to receive Medicaid services.

 What does this mean for undocumented Latina mothers?

The enforcement of this policy requires Latinas to file applications to obtain Medicaid coverage for their infants, which requires documentation to prove her newborn is a citizen. So what? The requirements of this new policy will create barriers to access for health care for Latina immigrant women’s newborns. Birth certificates sometimes can take weeks to be processed. Then there is the further delay of processing the Medicaid application once the birth certificate is obtained. In addition, many undocumented immigrant mothers will forego getting the necessary documentation out of fear of deportation.

What will enforcement of this policy do to Latinas, documented and undocumented?

Enforcement of this policy endangers the health and life of Latina citizen children, by impeding a immigrant mother’s ability to care for her newborn: access to immunizations, preventative care and other types of early treatment. It also sends a message that Latina immigrants and their children are not valued members of our society.

What can you do?

Now more than ever, you have to let your legislator know that this policy must not be enforced, write to them today and let them know your disgust and dismay over this bureaucratic hurdle.

3. Plan B Hits Starts to Hit Shelves

Plan B (also known as Emergency Contraception (EC), or the Morning After Pill) was approved this summer for over-the-counter (OTC) use for adults 18 and older. EC can be purchased with a government issued I.D. beginning this month and next across the nation. Some cities, like New York City, have pharmacies already selling emergency contraception OTC.