Last week the North Carolina state House of Representatives passed a health education bill requiring middle school students to be taught in sex-ed classes that abortion is a cause of pre-term births in future pregnancies.
The bill, Senate Bill 132 , requires an addition to the current health education program in the form of information on risks for premature births. The bill focuses on teaching children that having an abortion will cause pre-term complications in later pregnancies, though the medical justification behind such a link is debated. Other risk factors have been added as well, including "smoking, alcohol consumption, illicit drug use, and inadequate prenatal care." The original bill did not include this list of other factors and used the term "cause" instead of "risk" when talking about abortion.
House Democrats have opposed the bill on the grounds that the medical evidence is not conclusive and that the topic may not be appropriate for seventh graders. House Republicans cite the existence of education about other sexual health topics as a counter-argument and point to a study from the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force as justification of the claim.
According to the bill, current health education in North Carolina involves an abstinence-only program and aspiration towards a "mutually faithful monogamous heterosexual relationship in the context of marriage" for all.
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. . . .