On July 10, by a close vote of 187-182, the House quickly voted down Rep. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) amendment to the Agricultural appropriations bill that would have prohibited the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from testing, developing or approving drugs that induce abortion. This is a timely victory for the pro-choice movement, as final FDA approval of mifepristone is expected by late September 2000. Mifepristone, which is now available to women throughout the majority of the European Union as well as China, Israel, Switzerland and other parts of the world, is a safe and effective method of early abortion. It is non-invasive and creates no risk of infection. "Defeating the Coburn Amendment is a significant victory for women's health care," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. "Congressional interference with the FDA approval process for mifepristone would have had tragic consequences. If the Coburn Amendment had passed, US women would have faced yet more obstacles in gaining access to this safe and effective method of early abortion, and trials on mifepristone's other potential non-abortion uses such as treatment for ovarian cancer, endometriosis, fibroid tumors, meningioma (brain tumor), and Cushing's Syndrome would not have been able to move forward," added Smeal.
Media Resources: Washington Post, AP, Feminist Majority Foundation
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. . . .