Pop Star Gives to Shelter; Abortion Rule Upheld

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(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

Pop music star Christina Aguilera donated $200,000 to the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh.

Aguilera, 23, is from the Pittsburgh suburb of Wexford and visited the shelter Sunday, spending two hours signing autographs and talking to the 18 women and 23 children at the shelter. She also helped wrap Christmas presents for the children.

In the hit song, “I’m Okay” Aguilera sings about the abuse she and her mother, Shelly Kearns, suffered at the hands of her father.

The song begins: “I believe you know. That it’s clearly time for me to go. Couldn’t take another temper show and that’s the deal. Yeah well I . . . I’m okay. And there’s nothin’ you could do or say that’s ever gonna make me stay and I’m for real.”

Aguilera now lives in California but was visiting her mother for the holidays.

“Shelters are so important. I’ve seen that in my life firsthand, and I always thought that if I was ever in a position to make a difference, I wanted to do something to help,” Aguilera told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Jeers

Fulton Superior Court Judge Gino Brogdon ruled Monday that the state of Georgia need not pay for a Medicaid patient’s abortion when a doctor has decided that the pregnancy could be harmful to the woman’s health, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

Judge Brogdon denied the request for payment for such abortions from seven Georgia clinics that provide them. The Feminist Women’s Health Center, Planned Parenthood of Georgia and other clinics brought a suit, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, that challenged the state’s Medicaid policy that pays for abortions only when a doctor determines that the woman’s life is threatened and in cases of rape or incest.

The cost of those abortions is reimbursed with federal money. State officials said that paying for “medically necessary” abortions, when a pregnancy could be a health risk to the mother, would cost the state $5.1 million a year. Such abortions would not be reimbursed with federal dollars.

The ACLU plans to file an appeal.

“We are disappointed,” said Leola Reis, vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood of Georgia, in a written statement. “However, this is just the first step in a lengthy legal process, and we remain optimistic that the court will ultimately protect poor women’s health.”

In the United States, 16 states cover medically necessary abortions in their Medicaid programs. In the Southeast, West Virginia is the only state that covers such abortions.

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