According to the Outline for the Development of Chinese Children (2011-2020), released today, China will strengthen its efforts to end sex-selective abortions as a means to close the country's gender gap. The Outline states that "using ultrasonic techniques to conduct non-medical sex determination" is strictly banned in order to "eliminate discrimination against girls."
Due in part to the country's policy restricting families to one child, China has a male-to-female birth ratio of 119 male children for every 100 female children born. In certain provinces, the ratio is 130 males to 100 females born.
In June, the UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, WHO, and OHCHR issued a statement about sex-selective abortion: "Sex selection in favour of boys is a symptom of pervasive social, cultural, political, and economic injustices against women, and a manifest violation of women's human rights....There is a huge pressure on women to produce sons...which not only directly affects women's reproductive decisions, with implications for their health and survival, but also puts women in a position where they must perpetuate the lower status of girls through son preference."
Media Resources: Washington Post 8/8/11; Sacramento Bee 8/8/11; Xinhuanet.com 8/8/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/15/11
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. . . .