A hearing has been scheduled for Carol Moseley-Braun before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to consider her nomination to be ambassador to New Zealand. Jesse Helms (R-NC), Foreign Relations Committee Chair, who has stood in opposition to Moseley-Braun's nomination, has declined to preside over the hearing and has not committed to attend. Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee's subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific affairs, will preside over the full committee hearing. Helms spokesman Marc Thiessen said that Helms customarily will relinquish the gavel to relevant subcommittee chairmen at ambassadorial confirmation hearings. Moseley-Braun will still face thorough questioning without Helms in the Chair but has stated she is looking forward to the opportunity to clear her name.
Helms is accused of blocking the nomination because of his 1993 battle with Moseley-Braun over the renewal of the United Daughters of the Confederacy patent, which includes a Confederate Flag, a symbol that Moseley-Braun believes represents slavery. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) both predict that Moseley-Braun will be confirmed once her nomination come to a Senate floor vote. If the Foreign Relations Committee blocks the nomination, Daschle would favor a "recess appointment" by President Clinton that would place Moseley-Braun in the ambassadorship to New Zealand until the end of next year.
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. . . .