VA Governor Signs Bill to Restrict Abortion Clinics
Republican Governor Bob McDonnell signed a bill requiring that clinics that perform first trimester abortions meet the Board of Health regulations on hospitals, which are far more stringent than the regulations on physician's offices. The Virginia Senate and House voted to pass the bill in February.
Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, stated, "This is a distressing day for the women of Virginia and their access to safe, affordable reproductive health care in the Commonwealth. Through a legally questionable and ethically indefensible political gimmick, Gov. McDonnell has pushed through legislation that may result in politically motivated regulations of first trimester abortion providers that have nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with the legislature and governor's personal ideology."
The new regulations may cause as many as 17 of the state's 21 women's health clinics that perform abortions and provide necessary women's reproductive health services, such as STI testing, cancer screenings, and family planning, to shut down as a result of the cost to implement the required changes. These regulations will significantly and unnecessarily increase the cost of early abortions and will make it more difficult to get an abortion in Virginia. Reproductive rights groups, including the Feminist Majority, the National Organization for Women, and the American Civil Liberties Union oppose the law, which restricts women's access to reproductive health services.
Media Resources: Statement of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia 3/28/11; Washington Post 3/28/11; Associated Press 3/28/11
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. . . .