Access to Information Unit has launched new booklet

May 9, 2018

According to Jamaica Information Service, the access to information unit has launched the youth information booklet entitled “Abby and Friends ATI Adventure” last March 26. The launching was held at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library, Tom Redcam Drive, in Kingston.

The report described how the publication ushers the readers to a knowledgeable adventure like FAQs (Frequently asked questions) and activity sections. Hon. Floyd Green embraced the publication during his speech, encouraging the Unit to partner with the HEART Trust/NTA in creating an animated format of the book. Mr. Green is the State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

“Here we can tell the story through animation. We have a youth digitization project at the HEART Trust/NTA with some excellent young animators. Why not let us bring Abby to life. So, yes they can read the book, but imagine if we could also pop in a video that we can play,” Mr. Green said.

“This is something that the Ministry of Education will be willing to partner on, and that is something I believe we should do as the next step,” he added. Meanwhile, Acting Director, Access to Information Unit, Tomica Daley, said following the implementation of the ATI in 2004, the Government, through the ATI Unit, has sought to create awareness of the Act and encourage the various publics to utilize it, where to buy liquor.

“Consequently, the Unit identified the youth cohort as significant participants as early democratic participation is integral to shaping our future,” Mrs. Daley said. She noted that the idea for the publication came about in 2016 when the team at the Unit recognized that it had little promotional material relating to the youth.

“When we conducted school public education outreach, children and youth often had to be provided with materials designated for adults, specifically the adult brochure and copies of the law. Naturally, this affected our ability to generate interest among this very important cohort, our youth, and so we concluded that there must be another way,” the Acting Director said.

Supreme Court disregards right to access medical information

May 2, 2018

According to Rewire, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday heard oral arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, the case challenging a California law that mandates certain disclosures for reproductive health-care facilities. Passed in 2015, the Reproductive Freedom Accountability Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act is, at its core, a truth-in-advertising law—but it has become a proxy for conservatives’ war on reproductive health science.

The law places two different requirements on clinics in the state. Licensed clinics must post a notice that the state provides low-cost contraception and abortion services to those who qualify; unlicensed facilities must disclose that they are unlicensed. But just before the law was set to take effect, attorneys from the conservative litigation mill Alliance Defending Freedom sued on behalf of a group of licensed and unlicensed anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs). They argued the law was not a regulation to protect consumers, but instead an unconstitutional attack on CPC free speech rights—because it forced these businesses to convey a “pro-abortion” message with which they disagree. Both a lower court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and upheld the law. But as oral arguments closed Tuesday, those rulings appeared to be in jeopardy, liquor stores.

Attorney Michael Farris from ADF took to the podium first, telling the justices that California lawmakers “took aim” at CPCs in drafting the FACT Act by making them “point the way” to abortion clinics in the state. This framing—that the law targets CPCs and no one else—is an essential component to ADF’s challenge and one Farris stuck to throughout his time before the Court. It may prove to be a winning strategy. He claimed lawmakers “gerrymandered” the law, drafting what looked to be a neutral regulation but one that was in reality riddled with exceptions that left only CPCs exposed to enforcement.