A group of eight Planned Parenthood organizations filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas on Wednesday to prevent the state from excluding them from its Women's Health Program. In March, Governor Rick Perry implemented a rule that excludes affiliates of abortion providers from the Medicaid Women's Health Program, essentially cutting any government funding to Planned Parenthood. The eight Planned Parenthood organizations who filed the suit do not provide abortion services.
CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County in South Texas, Patricio Gonzales, told reporters from Reuters that the "worst of all my fears is that these women will forgo life-saving screenings, comprehensive exams, reliable birth control and other vital preventive healthcare services."
Following the implementation of the funding restrictions, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the federal government will no longer provide funding through the Medicaid family planning program for the state of Texas. Officials at the Medicaid federal agency said that states are not allowed to restrict patient's access to particular providers and still receive federal funding.
Media Resources: Reuters 4/11/12; AP 4/11/12; NPR 4/11/12, Feminist Daily News Wire 3/16/12
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. . . .