Women from mainland China who are seven months pregnant or more and wish to enter Hong Kong could be turned away at the border after a new measure is implemented in February. Pregnant women will need to provide proof that a local hospital has made arrangements for their birth, or they will be "denied entry and repatriated," according to AFP. The policy is aimed at deterring the rising number of nonresidents who come to Hong Kong each year to give birth and ensuring that residents have priority access to care. The pregnant women will also face doubled delivery charges (a minimum fee of $5,000) if there is open hospital space and they are accepted.
The Associated Press reports that Chinese women often go to Hong Kong to give birth to avoid paying fines under mainland China's one-child-per-family policy, to gain automatic Hong Kong residency rights for their baby, or to take advantage of Hong Kong�s cheaper rates and high quality of care. According to an AFP report, many women return to China without paying their bills, leaving the Hong Kong�s Hospital Authority with $41 million in debt in the last five years, two thirds of which is attributed to nonresidents.
In 2006, approximately 20,000 mainland Chinese women had reportedly given birth in Hong Kong. As a result, pregnant residents of Hong Kong report showing up to already full maternity wards. The measure will not be imposed upon pregnant women of other nationalities. Law Yuk-Kai, director of the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, criticized the measure saying, "Why is it just Chinese women, not women from other places? ... This is unfair, that we choose to target a certain group of people. Women can have a lot of legitimate reasons to travel and people should ask why only women are being discriminated [against]."
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. . . .