A survey conducted by Jane Doe Inc. Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence found that nearly 12,000 women and children were denied access to shelters in the state due to overcrowding and lack of resources. For every woman or child who was admitted into a Massachusetts shelter, at least three more were turned away.
Given these critical shortages, shelters have been forced to implement policies which restrict shelter stays to 90 and admit only the women and children who appear to face the most imminent danger.
The women who are denied access to domestic violence shelters often are forced into homeless shelters, which do not provide them with the security they need. Some homeless shelters refuse to accept women who have been abused, for fear that the abuser might attack other residents and/or staff.
The State of New York is facing similar shortages. In 1995, New York shelters accepted just 6,000 of the 11,000 families who desperately needed them.
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. . . .