On Monday, Virginia state Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) filed a "personhood" bill, which states that life begins at conception and proposes to give constitutional rights to a fertilized egg. The bill proposes to give "unborn children at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth." Yesterday marked the first day of the pre-filing period in introduce legislation.
Tarina Keene, president of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, stated, "We have no doubt that this is just the beginning of an all-out series of legislative attacks on women's freedom and privacy." If passed this would ban emergency contraception, birth control pills, and IUDs as well as all abortions, even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman or girl. The bill would even eliminate medical choices for women, including some cancer treatments, in vitro fertilization, and could allow the state to investigate and even prosecute a woman for a miscarriage.
In the Mississippi election in November, Mississippi voters defeated the Personhood Amendment ballot initiative. While the state went Republican and voted for many candidates who supported Initiative 26, a state constitutional personhood amendment that would have given full rights to fertilized eggs, women's rights supporters successfully defeated this dangerous initiative 58% to 42% with 96 percent of precincts reporting.
Anti-abortion and anti-birth control extremists have indicated that they intend to put a similar measure on six state ballots in 2012. So far, reproductive rights supporters have defeated anti-choice state ballot measures in South Dakota, Colorado, and California in 2006 and 2008; in Colorado in 2010, and now Mississippi in 2011
Media Resources: Associated Press 11/22/11; PilotOnline.com 11/21/11
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. . . .