In Minnesota, the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that would prohibit women from obtaining abortions after 20 weeks gestation period even through medical evidence does not support the claim of fetal pain. The bill, introduced by Senator Gretchen Hoffman (R-Vergas), makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, although it would permit a woman to obtain an abortion in cases when her life is endangered.
Linnea House, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota told Minnesota Public Radio, "Women facing difficult and sometimes tragic complications in their pregnancies need to be able to make the best decision for this based on their medical condition, the recommendation of their doctor and the beliefs of their family. I trust women to make these decisions, and you should too."
The American College of Gynecology disputes assertions that a fetus can feel pain at the 20 weeks gestation period, stating that there is "no legitimate evidence that fetuses can experience pain." Governor Mark Dayton (D), a supporter of women's rights to abortion services, will likely not sign the bill.
Currently, four states - Nebraska, Oklahoma, Idaho and Kansas - have passed similar legislation. Late last week, the Alabama House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and at the end of March, the Idaho Senate voted to approve the Unborn Child Protection Act, both of which would ban abortions after 20 weeks, unless the woman's life is endangered.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 4/14/11; Associated Press 4/12/11; RH Reality Check 4/12/11; Minnesota Public Radio 4/12/11
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. . . .