On Saturday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) signed a bill, sponsored by Representative Kimberly Yee (R-Phoenix) and Senator Nancy Barto (R), requiring that doctors offer every woman considering an abortion an ultrasound and the option to hear the fetal heartbeat, if detected. The bill also prohibits medical providers from prescribing mifepristone, also known as RU-486 or the abortion pill, remotely through telemedicine.
Michelle Steinberg, public policy manager and lobbyist for Planned Parenthood Arizona, stated that the telemedicine provision will place increased and unnecessary restrictions on low-income women and women in rural areas who seek abortions. Steinberg clarified, "This will make [abortion] unavailable in any place but Phoenix and Tucson. This isn't going to make it any safer for women."
The bill signing occurred at a fundraiser for the Center for Arizona Policy, a nonprofit organization that supported the ultrasound legislation. Brewer described her "consistent track record of support for pro-life legislation" at the event.
Media Resources: KOLD News 13 4/4/11; Arizona Central 4/2/11; Christian Newswire 4/2/11
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. . . .