Effective December 14th, young women who are seeking legal permanent resident status in the United States will no longer be required to be vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). According to the Federal Register, "while HPV may be an age appropriate vaccine for an immigrant applicant, HPV neither causes outbreaks nor is it associated with outbreaks...Further, HPV has not been eliminated, nor is in the process of elimination, in the United States. Therefore, because HPV does not meet the adopted criteria, it will not be a required vaccine for immigrant and adjustment of status to permanent residence applicants."
The requirement was originally implemented in July 2008 and was mandated by the Federal Immigration Authorities. It applied to immigrant women ages 11 to 26 who were seeking permanent resident status. Women's and immigrant rights groups argued that the requirement, which is gender-specific and costly, is discriminatory.
After the announcement Friday, Rocio Cordoba, Executive Director of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, said in a statement, "We commend the CDC for recognizing that all women and girls--regardless of their immigration status--must be treated with dignity in the context of any medical procedure, including the HPV vaccine. As reproductive justice advocates, we strive to ensure that women and communities have valuable information, coupled with the resources and power to make well-informed and uncoerced decisions about their bodies."
California Latinas for Reproductive Justice worked in coalition with the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health to work against the requirement. Additionally, more than 140 related organizations signed on to a letter against the requirement sent to Center for Disease Control Director Thomas Friedan, MD.
Media Resources: Federal Register 11/13/09; NAPAWF, NLIRH, and CLRJ Statement 11/13/09; Letter to CDC 8/10/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 10/1/08
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. . . .