New York Governor David Paterson promised a group of protesters yesterday that he will sign a bill that will prohibit incarcerated pregnant women from being shackled while in labor. Dozens of women, several of whom have given birth while shackled in prison, gathered outside of Paterson's office wearing handcuffs to demonstrate support of the legislation.
According to the Epoch Times, Paterson said, "the bill is trying to stop...what we think is the inhumane treatment of people who are giving birth, even if they committed a crime, even if they are incarcerated. [We want to ensure] the safety of the child."
Paterson also referenced his concern regarding a provision within the bill that grants an exception in extraordinary circumstances when it is legal to restrain a woman by one wrist to prevent her from injuring herself or others while being transported so that labor can be induced or a cesarean section can be performed. According to RH Reality Check, Paterson will work to amend this provision of the bill, but plans to sign the legislation.
The bill passed in both houses of the New York state legislature and was delivered to the Governor's office yesterday. It stipulates that "no restraints of any kind shall be used when such a woman is in labor, admitted to a hospital, institution or clinic for delivery, or recovering after giving birth."
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 5/27/09; Epoch Times 8/18/09; New York Senate S. 1290; RH Reality Check 8/18/09
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .