After a long delay, the Compassionate Care for Rape Victims Bill is now being considered by the Wisconsin State Assembly. The bill, which would require hospitals to provide rape victims with information about emergency contraception and access to the medication if it is requested, already passed the State Senate with a 27-6 vote. It has been stalled in the Judiciary and Ethics Committee of the State Assembly.
Representative Mark Gundrum, chair of the committee, finally granted a long-awaited hearing on the bill last Thursday. A Republican who opposes the bill, Rep. Gundrum resisted holding hearings because of his concerns regarding doctors with religious objections to emergency contraception. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison), a sponsor of the Assembly bill, stated that the bill already made exceptions for these doctors. Rep. Pocan anticipates an attempt by opponents to amend the legislation, which he said he would be open to as long as the alterations do not "gut" the bill, the Capital Times reports.
Although the bill has faced recent defeats in the state Legislature, similar legislation has been successful elsewhere. Chris Taylor, director of public policy for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, stated, "Nine other states have passed this law and there has never been a constitutional challenge. The state clearly has the right to regulate health care professionals and entities to protect the safety, health and life of patients," reports the Capital Times.
Media Resources: Madison Times 9/7/07, 9/6/07, 9/5/07; Daily Cardinal 9/10/07
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. . . .