A law newly passed in Togo expands abortion rights, legalizing abortion in cases of rape or incest and when the fetus is at risk of a serious medical condition. Previously, abortion was only legal to protect the mother's life or physical health.
As of April 2005, only three of 53 African countries�Cape Verde, South Africa and Tunisia�allow unrestricted rights to abortion. The majority of African countries do not allow the practice unless a doctor determines that the mother's life or health is at stake. Togo now joins Mali and Sudan, where, in addition to exceptions to save a mother's life, there are also exceptions for rape and incest. The new law, however, includes harsh penalties for those involved in an illegal abortion.
According to the United Nations, less than 10 percent of married women in Togo use contraception and the fertility rate is six children per woman, Reuters reports.
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. . . .