A Nevada judge ruled that a "personhood" amendment petition can not be circulated because it is too vague and violates a state law that limits the ballot measure questions to one subject. The measure in question would have extended due process rights to "everyone possessing a human genome." According to the Associated Press, three plaintiffs represented by lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood challenged the measure in court. Carson City District Court Judge James Russell ruled from the bench after about two hours of arguments. He said, "the issue to me is, are we adequately informing voters on what they're voting on," according to the Associated Press.
Conservative group Personhood Nevada originally filed the ballot initiative with the secretary of state's office, in October 2009. Petitioners would have needed to obtain 97,002 valid signatures to have placed the measure on the 2010 ballot. Four anti-choice groups released a statement in November 2009 that indicates their opposition to the proposed amendment because it will give more power to the "pro-abortion courts."
Abortion opponents have pushed these so-called "personhood initiatives" in several states. These measures declare that a fertilized egg is a "person" who enjoys "inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of the law." The laws would threaten not only abortion itself, but IUDs, emergency contraception, in vitro fertilization clinics, and stem cell research. In the 2008 elections, Colorado's Amendment 48, failed by 73 to 27 percent. In addition to failing in Montana, petition drives for similar initiatives ultimately failed in Georgia, Oregon, and Mississippi for the 2008 elections.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 11/23/09; Associated Press 1/8/10, 1/8/10
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. . . .