WI Senate Advances Transvaginal Ultrasound, TRAP Bill
After intense but brief debate, the Wisconsin state Senate approved a bill that could mandate transvaginal ultrasounds before an abortion and impose unnecessary regulations on abortion clinics. The bill, SB 206 [PDF] was approved in a vote of 17 to 15 along party lines.
If the bill becomes law, women seeking an abortion will be forced to view an ultrasound and have a physician or ultrasound technician describe the fetus and it's stage of development in detail. For women who are early in a pregnancy, this could mean having to go through a transvaginal ultrasound to even view the fetus. There is also no provisions in the bill about funding for the mandatory ultrasounds, creating a financial barrier for some women. Supporters of the bill argue that women can find clinics that offer free ultrasounds before their procedures. Many of these clinics are Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) which use medically inaccurate information and religious ideology to pressure women to carry their pregnancies to term.
In addition to requiring women to view an ultrasound, SB 206 also requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility. This could close Planned Parenthood of Appleton, which is one of the only four abortion clinics in the entire state. Admitting privileges are not required to transfer a patient to a hospital in case of an emergency.
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. . . .