A Texas senate committee has passed a TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) bill that would require abortion clinics in the state to meet strict operating standards that could potentially close many of Texas's abortion providers. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed SB 537 on a vote of five to two. Similar TRAP laws threaten clinics in other states such as Alabama, Virginia, and Mississippi.
The bill was authored by Senator Bob Deuell (R) and two senate physicians. The proposed requirements would force abortion providers to follow the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, including specifics regarding the flooring and ventilation systems. Many clinics, especially in more rural areas, may not be able to afford the necessary renovation that SB 537 would require and could face closure.
Media Resources: CBS Dallas Fort Worth Local 3/19/13; Houston Chronicle 3/19/13; Texas Legislature Online
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. . . .