Winning rights for women everywhere in 2009
From Nepal to Arizona to Oklahoma — these are just a few of the places where the Center won victories in 2009.
We are so proud of these successes, and they are only a small portion of the work we have accomplished. In just one year, the Center worked on more than 45 cases, spent months advocating for fair healthcare, launched the first national television commercial supporting abortion coverage in the reform bill, and so much more.
As another year comes to a close, the Center is tremendously proud of the work it has done and thankful to supporters all around the world for helping to push women’s reproductive rights forward.
We look forward to ringing in a new decade with more victories and the continued hope for a world where every woman participates with full dignity as an equal member of society.
For years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refused to make the emergency contraceptive Plan B available without a prescription to women of all ages — contrary to the advice of its own scientific experts and a mountain of evidence that Plan B is safe and effective.
The Center’s tenacity paid off, when the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled that the FDA “acted in bad faith and in response to political pressure” from the Bush Administration and ordered the FDA to reconsider its decision and to permit the manufacturer to extend over the counter access to 17-year olds within 30 days. Read more >,
In August, we won a significant victory when an Oklahoma state district judge struck down a law that would have prohibited a woman from getting an abortion unless she first has an ultrasound and listens to her doctor describe the image in detail — even if she objects.
This extreme Oklahoma law also would have prevented a woman from suing her doctor if he or she intentionally withheld other information about the fetus, such as evidence of a fetal abnormality — and it restricted the use of the medical abortion pill, leaving some women with surgery as their only option. Read more >,
The Oklahoma legislature passed another law, this time requiring abortion providers to fill out a 10-page questionnaire for each procedure, including three dozen questions about the woman’s reasons for having an abortion and details about the father — and to post details of abortions on a public website. The goals: to stop doctors from performing abortions, intimidate women, and stigmatize abortion. The Center sprang into action and succeeded in obtaining a temporary restraining order.
Other states are copying such underhanded tactics. We won a victory on behalf of North Dakota’s only abortion provider, challenging a vaguely worded law that would have required the clinic to buy prohibitively expensive and unnecessary equipment and exposed the clinic and its physicians to criminal penalties. Thanks to the Center, the Court clarified the meaning of the law — allowing the clinic to remain open for the women of North Dakota. Read more >,
Dr. Christopher Carey, Director of the OB/GYN Residency Program at Maricopa County Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, insisted that residents be given an opportunity to receive the abortion training required for accreditation. Not required — simply an option.
Yet, members of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors embarked on a successful campaign to oust Dr. Carey from his position — including defamatory claims, unwarranted investigations and a campaign to ruin his reputation. The Center filed a lawsuit, arguing that Dr. Carey’s treatment was grossly unfair – and in violation of the law. The Court agreed — and awarded a settlement in favor of Dr. Carey. Read more >,
Despite the decriminalizing of abortion in 2002, women in Nepal have still faced a multitude of barriers to safe abortion services including: prohibitive costs, lack of information, lack of skilled abortion providers, and victimization by unscrupulous, illegal providers.
In a case brought by the Center and our Nepali partners, the country’s Supreme Court ordered the government to guarantee access to safe and affordable abortion services, through a comprehensive new abortion law and a public fund to cover the cost for poor women. Read more >,
Our promise to our supporters is to fight anti-choice actions like these — and stop them before they have a chance to restrict our rights. As 2009 proves, we can succeed!