On Wednesday, the Oklahoma state Senate voted 34 to 8 in favor of a bill, which states that life begins at conception and would give rights to a fertilized egg. The bill is expected to be passed by the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The Oklahoma State Medical Association has come out against the bill since it could ban women from accessing contraception.
Senator Judy Eason McIntyre (D-Tulsa) stated, "What do we do in Oklahoma? You get in our bodies. Women have a right to make choices about their bodies. Women should not have the government tell us what we can do with our bodies."
If the personhood initiative appears on the ballot, emergency contraception, birth control pills, IUDs, and abortions - even in cases of rape and incest or to save the life of the woman or girl - would be threatened. The initiative would even go so far as to 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.
If passed in the Senate and signed by the Governor, the law would directly challenge the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in the US and perhaps Griswold v. Connecticut, which struck down state laws banning birth control.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 2/17/12; Associated Press 2/15/12
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. . . .