"People's Filibuster" in Texas Successfully Blocks Anti-Choice Legislation
Over 700 Texans last night successfully blocked HB 60, a state bill that would shut down all but 5 abortion providers in the state, from passing in the state House as part of a "people's filibuster." The legislation passed through the Senate Tuesday.
HB 60 requires abortion clinics act as ambulatory service centers, work with doctors who have hospital admitting privileges, and schedule two in-person visits with women seeking abortions prior to the performance of the procedure. A fetal pain clause was dropped. The legislation was added to the Texas house's special session calendar by Governor Rick Perry.
700 citizens who appeared at the hearing to give testimony came to share personal stories and policy-based opinions were told at midnight by House State Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Byron Cook (R-Cosicana) that they would no longer be heard because their words were becoming "repetitive." Citizens continued speaking with or without committee members present, and eventually were given more chances to speak. "Our words are not repetitive," Lesli Simms testified. "Our government's attacks on our choice, on our bodies, is repetitive."
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. . . .