Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed three bills on Tuesday instituting new restrictions on abortion rights in the state. The first law requires women seeking abortions in Louisiana to undergo an ultrasound prior to the procedure. There will be no exceptions for victims of rape or incest Opponents remain concerned that the ultrasound requirement, an expensive procedure that may not be available at free clinics, will increase costs and make obtaining abortion services more difficult for women.
The second new law excludes providers from medical malpractice coverage for elective abortion procedures, reports the Associated Press. The third anti-choice bill signed by Governor Jindal yesterday prevents insurance providers in the new federal health insurance exchange from covering abortions.
Last month Governor Jindal signed House Bill 1370, a law that gives Louisiana’s health secretary greater power to revoke abortion clinic licenses when there are health or safety concerns. According to Associated Press the law allows the health secretary to immediately suspend a clinic’s license in the case of urgent health or safety risks. The health secretary is also granted broader discretion to refuse the renewal of existing licenses, as well as to deny new licenses to abortion clinics.
Media Resources: Associated Press 7/6/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/17/10; Louisiana State Government
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. . . .