Massachusetts Legislature Considers Bill Limiting Protestors at Abortion Clinics
The Massachusetts legislature is considering a bill that would prevent protestors from entering a 35-foot zone around abortion clinics. The bill would strengthen a 2000 law that created an 18-foot zone in which protestors had to remain at least six feet away from all staff and patients unless they obtained permission to move closer.
The existing measure was a compromise with the House Speaker at the time, an abortion opponent. Police say it was not easily enforceable. "It hasn't been a real buffer zone," Captain William Evans, assigned for nine years to the area around Planned Parenthood's Boston clinic, said in the Boston Globe. "The law hasn't stopped protestors from going inside the zone. All they have to do is freeze. They can't get into people's faces, but the patients have to go around them to get in." funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Governor Deval Patrick (D) is expected to sign the toughened bill if it passes the legislature, which appears likely. Mary Beth Heffernan, the governor's undersecretary of public safety, told the Globe, "This would provide essential protection for patients and medical personnel outside of these clinics."
The Feminist Majority Foundation was instrumental in initiating Madsen v. Women's Health Center Inc., a 1994 Supreme Court case that established the legality of buffer zones around women's health clinics. Through its National Clinic Access Project - the nation's largest and oldest clinic defense network - the Feminist Majority Foundation continues to support and protect clinic access.
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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. . . .