Last week, a Minnesota judge dismissed a lawsuit that attempted to end state insurance coverage for abortion. The lawsuit, brought against the state by a conservative anti-abortion legal group on behalf of "taxpayers", alleged that the Department of Human Services was using tax-payer money to fund abortions for women on state assistance when the procedures were not medically necessary and without the authority to do so.
Second District Court Judge Kathleen R. Gearin dismissed the case with prejudice on Thursday. In her opinion, Gearin cited a 1995 case Doe v. Gomez, which determined that if Minnesota funded pregnancy-related care, it would be unconstitutional to not fund therapeutic abortions (when there is a medical reason to terminate the pregnancy, or if it is the result of rape or incest). She also restated the guarantee to right to privacy as stated in Doe v. Gomez: "the difficult decision to obtain a therapeutic abortion will not be made by the government, but will be left to the woman and her doctor." Since the case was dismissed with prejudice, it cannot be filed again.
Media Resources: Associated Press 5/7/2013; RH Reality Check 5/3/2013; State of Minnesota Second Judicial Court 5/2/2013
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. . . .