Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee voted 20 to 12 along party lines to approve a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks nationwide. The bill now goes before the full House of Representatives, and could be brought up for debate as early as next week.
The bill, called the Pain Capable Child Protection Act, is sponsored by Trent Franks (R-AZ), and originally applied only to the District of Columbia. However, Franks decided to expand the bill nationwide following the murder conviction of Kermit Gosnell, a rogue doctor who performed illegal abortions in Pennsylvania. The bill does not include exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormality, but does include an exception to save the life of the woman. Franks has introduced the bill in previous sessions of Congress, but it was defeated.
During the committee debate, sponsor Franks echoed other conservative lawmakers in their understanding of rape. Franks successfully dissuaded fellow lawmakers from amending the bill to include an exception from rape by arguing that "the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low." This shows striking similarity to Representative Todd Akin's remark last year, that "...from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Media Resources: Bloomberg 6/12/2013; New York Times 6/11/2013; Washington Post 6/11/2013; Feminist Newswire 6/5/2013, 8/20/2012
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. . . .