An internal memo from Sanford Health System lawyers indicating that the proposed abortion ban in South Dakota could have serious legal implications for hospitals was leaked on Wednesday. The abortion ban initiative, Measure 11 (see PDF), would amend the state constitution, "prohibiting abortions except in cases where the mother's life or health is at risk, and in cases of rape and incest." If approved by voters, this law would severely limit access to abortion.
The Sanford memo (see PDF) states, "Initiated Measure 11, if approved, will have substantial legal implications for Sanford Health and its providers ....for those instances where a pregnant woman faces uncertain, but potentially very serious health risks, Initiated Measure 11 will require a physician to choose between possibly committing a felony or subjecting a pregnant woman to a higher degree of medical risk than what would otherwise be clinically desirable."
According to the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families the memo "proves there is no exception for fatal fetal anomalies. And, it points out that criminal liability will extend beyond just doctors in South Dakota. Any person involved in the procedure would be in violation [including] doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other employees."
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 7/11/08; South Dakota Secretary of State; Sanford Health Interoffice Memo 10/6/08; South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families 10/16/08
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .