Yesterday the devastating Ryan Budget for 2014 was passed on a party line vote of 221-207 in the House of Representatives. Later that day it was solidly defeated in the Senate in a vote of 40-59. The Ryan budget would repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which prohibits insurance companies from classifying being a woman as a pre-existing medical condition and eliminates co-pays for birth control. The Ryan budget would also turn Medicare into a voucher system that would leave seniors, particularly women, struggling to get coverage, and authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline. In addition, the proposed budget would restructure the way Social Security Living Adjustments are determined, threatening the stability of seniors nationwide. Paul Ryan also seeks to undo sequester cuts to the Pentagon by instead transferring the cuts to already severely impacted domestic programs.
After passage in the House, no Senate Republican offered the Ryan Budget as an amendment to the Senate Democratic proposal by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). Senator Murray, as chair of the Senate Budget Committee, introduced the Ryan Budget where she and her fellow democrats were joined by five Republicans in voting against it. The Senate is anticipated to vote on the Murray budget on Friday.
Media Resources: Associated Press 3/21/2013; House of Representatives Office of the Clerk 3/21/2013; Politico 3/21/2013; Feminist Newswire 3/21/2013
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. . . .