Under Vratil's decision, abortion providers must offer the state provided contested information about fetal development, including fetal pain, on their websites. This decision overruled a decision by Kansas Judge Rebecca Crotty that the provision compelling providers to post such information on their websites was a violation of free speech.
The provision was part of a far-reaching law restricting abortion access that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed in early April. Provisions in the law include a 24 hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, requiring abortion providers to supply women with a list of abortion alternatives, and restricting abortion providers from receiving tax credits.
The law also includes a statement that life begins at fertilization. The provision establishes an official state opinion that prohibits direct or indirect support of abortion by the state of Kansas. The provision also means if Roe v Wade were to be overturned, Kansas could argue that abortion is immediately banned in the state based on this law.
The original case was brought by Planned Parenthood on behalf of one of their clinics in Kansas. A second case from two Kansas doctors is currently pending.
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. . . .