Unmarried Adoption Ban Approved for Arkansas Ballot
A ballot measure that would ban unmarried couples from fostering or adopting children has been approved for the November ballot in Arkansas. The measure is aimed at banning gay and lesbian couples from being foster or adoptive parents, but would also apply to unmarried heterosexual couples.
The measure states both that "a minor may not be adopted or placed in a foster home if the individual seeking to adopt or to serve as a foster parent is cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage which is valid under the constitution and laws of this state" and that "the prohibition of this section applies equally to cohabiting opposite-sex and same-sex individuals." A constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage in Arkansas was approved by voters in 2004.
The measure will likely face legal challenges. Spokeswoman Debbie Willhite of Arkansas Families First told The Morning News last week that her group was considering challenges on the basis of signature validity, constitutionality, and whether the measure's title is sufficiently descriptive.
Arkansas Family Council Action Committee President Jerry Cox said that "Arkansas needs to affirm the importance of married mothers and fathers...we need need to publicly affirm the gold standard of rearing children whenever we can. The state standard should be as close to that gold standard of married mom and dad homes as possible," according to the Associated Press.
Media Resources: Associated Press 8/26/08; Arkansas Secretary of State; CNN 2004 Election Results; The Morning News 8/20/08
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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. . . .
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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. . . .