Rep. Slaughter Reintroduces Prevention First in House
Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) reintroduced the Prevention First Act in the House on Monday. This bill, which was not acted on the last congress, is designed to increase access to both contraception and comprehensive sex education and reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in the US. The bill, which was introduced in the Senate by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in early January, is now in committee in both Houses.
The legislation would increase funds for the National Family Planning Program (known as Title X) and for Medicaid Family Planning Services. The bill would also end insurance discrimination against women, spread awareness about emergency contraception, provide rape victims with free emergency contraception, and require medically accurate information in federally funded sex education programs.
"I am proud to reintroduce this bill which serves as an innovative and comprehensive approach to protecting women's reproductive health, decreasing the spread of STDs, and reducing the number of unintended pregnancies," Rep. Slaughter said of the bill in a Senate press release. "If we want to reduce the number of abortions in this country, the methodology is clear -- empower women to prevent unintended pregnancies through education and access to contraception."
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. . . .