Race is Neck-in-Neck to Defeat Abortion Ban in South Dakota
In polling released this weekend by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, a measure to ban abortion in South Dakota is currently running dead even. Forty-four percent of 800 registered voters surveyed said they would vote Yes on Initiated Measure 11, and an equal number said they would vote No. Twelve percent remain undecided.
Jan Nicolay of the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, which opposes Initiated Measure 11, told the Argus Leader, "We believe we will continue to gain ground as more South Dakotans learn about the medical community's opposition to this abortion ban because of the dangerous government intrusion into the private medical decisions that affect how doctors treat women."
South Dakota voters rejected a similar ban in 2006; this time, its supporters added so-called exceptions for a woman's health and in cases of rape and incest. However, doctors are concerned that the language of the health exception is so vague that it could have serious legal ramifications. The ban would make doctors liable for criminal prosecution and sentences of up to 10 years in jail. South Dakota already has among the nation's most rigid regulations to complicate access to safe abortions.
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .