On Wednesday, the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-2 to approve a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, unless the woman's life is endangered. The bill will go to the state Senate for a vote.
Steven Olsen, the chief of the Idaho attorney general's civil litigation division, stated that the bill is "unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution insofar as it proscribes some non-therapeutic abortions even before a fetus has reached viability." Moreover, the American College of Gynecology disputes assertions made by Idaho's Republican senators that fetuses can feel pain at 20 week, stating that there is "no legitimate evidence that fetuses can experience pain."
In April 2010, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman signed a bill outlawing abortion after 20 weeks. Prior to the passage of the new law, Nebraska law restricted abortion after viability, which occurs on a case-by-case basis, but is generally accepted to be between 22 and 24 weeks. Nebraska is also the first state to restrict access to abortion by requiring a doctor to screen women for any mental or physical problems before they perform the procedure.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 3/17/11; Idaho Statesman 3/16/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/13/10
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. . . .