The official Republican Party Platform adopted this week has the potential to threaten women's rights domestically and abroad. Globally, the platform (see PDF) rejects adopting the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). It supports withholding funds from international organizations involved in abortion and upholding the "Mexico City Policy," which prohibits federal monies from being given to non-governmental organizations that provide abortions or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other countries.
Domestically, the platform targets abortion rights by opposing clinics at schools that provide information or referrals for abortion or contraception and by supporting parental notification requirements for both abortion and contraception. The platform also supports a constitutional amendment in support of human life, protection of the unborn under the 14th Amendment, and the appointment of more pro-life judges. The platform opposes abortion in all cases and does not allow for exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or maternal health.
Additionally, while the platform supports "the advancement of women in the military" it also favors their "exemption from ground combat units." Also regarding the military, the platform supports banning gays and lesbians from service.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
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. . . .