Proposal to Ban Federal Funding for Planned Parenthood Defeated
An amendment to the Labor, Health, and Human Services bill that sought to ban all federal funding for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) was defeated last week in the House by a vote of 247 to 183. Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) introduced the amendment, which would have prevented funds from going to Planned Parenthood affiliated clinics "for any purpose under Title X of the Public Health Services Act," reported RH Reality Check.
PPFA currently receives public funding through the Title X family planning program, which provides 1.7 million women with comprehensive family planning services and preventative care, according to PPFA's press release. Funds available under Title X cannot be used for abortion services.
A spokesperson for Congresswoman Betsy Markey (D-CO), who voted against the amendment, told the Colorado Independent that Planned Parenthood clinics "are community health centers that provide preventative and primary care - in most cases to lower-income communities - like disease prevention, education and cancer screenings. Given the massive economic hardships Americans face right now, it's not the time to be focusing on divisive issues like this."
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. . . .