Testimony in NOW vs. Scheidler continued as anti-abortion leaders admitted that they were involved in blockades and activities intended to close down the clinics. Tim Murphy and Andrew Scholberg, former employees of the Pro-Life Action League, testified that they were present at annual meetings with Joseph Scheidler and that they planned blockades and training sessions.
Judge David Coar denied the defendants’ request to show a video of former Operation Rescue leader Randall Terry preaching on the “evils of abortion.”
Judge Coar asked plaintiffs to testify and describe the costs to the clinics for “specific acts” by the anti-abortion groups. Testimony was given by Susan Hill, president of the National Women’s Health Organization and owner of an abortion clinic in Wilmington, Delaware. Hill said that the clinic hired armed guards, installed metal detectors and 24-hour surveillance monitors and hired a locksmith to unplug locks that were filled with glue by anti-abortion extremists.
NOW attorneys claim that the blockades were in violation of the Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organization Act. Attorney Kerry Miller said, “Blockading is extortion. It’s the use of fear and force to prevent someone from exercising their rights.”
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. . . .