As a result of a voter initiative passed Tuesday in Alaska's primary election, women age 17 and under seeking an abortion in state of Alaska must have their parents notified prior to the procedure. The new law does not, however, require parental consent. If a parent does not consent to the abortion, there is a 48 hour waiting period before the procedure can be performed. The new parental notification law will go into effect mid-December, according to RH Reality Check.
The law requires that doctors notify the parents of underage women who are seeking abortions, Anchorage Daily News reports. A doctor who fails to do so could face felony charges and a prison sentence of up to five years. Exemptions to the law will be made if an underage woman testifies to abuse before a judge or receives a notarized statement from her doctor attesting to abuse at home.
The Alaska state legislature had previously passed a parental consent law, but the state Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the law was unconstitutional because it violated teens' right to privacy, according to the Associated Press. Tuesday's voter initiative only requires notification, not parental consent.
Chris Charbonneau, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, attributes the vote to high conservative turn out for the competitive Republican primary election between incumbent Lisa Murkowski and tea-party candidate Joe Miller, reported the Anchorage Daily News. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union raised nearly $800,000 to oppose the measure.
In addition to Alaska, thirty-four states require parental notification or consent for women under the age of 18 who are seeking abortions.
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. . . .