An internal memo from Sanford Health System lawyers indicating that the proposed abortion ban in South Dakota could have serious legal implications for hospitals was leaked on Wednesday. The abortion ban initiative, Measure 11 (see PDF), would amend the state constitution, "prohibiting abortions except in cases where the mother's life or health is at risk, and in cases of rape and incest." If approved by voters, this law would severely limit access to abortion.
The Sanford memo (see PDF) states, "Initiated Measure 11, if approved, will have substantial legal implications for Sanford Health and its providers ....for those instances where a pregnant woman faces uncertain, but potentially very serious health risks, Initiated Measure 11 will require a physician to choose between possibly committing a felony or subjecting a pregnant woman to a higher degree of medical risk than what would otherwise be clinically desirable."
According to the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families the memo "proves there is no exception for fatal fetal anomalies. And, it points out that criminal liability will extend beyond just doctors in South Dakota. Any person involved in the procedure would be in violation [including] doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other employees."
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 7/11/08; South Dakota Secretary of State; Sanford Health Interoffice Memo 10/6/08; South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families 10/16/08
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. . . .