Maryland House Increases State-Funded Abortion Access
The Maryland House of Delegates voted to increase the number of poor teenage women who qualify for state-funded abortions yesterday. The new law will offer health and insurance benefits to 60,000 more children and pregnant women whose earnings are moderate, but not low enough to qualify for Medicaid.
Although federal law prohibits the use of government dollars for abortions except in the case of rape, incest or to protect the mother’s life, Maryland law allows state-funded abortions to protect the mental health of the mother and in cases of possible genetic defects of the fetus. State officials estimate that the new law will provide state-funded abortions for 60 additional teenage women a year.
Betsy Cavendish, legal director for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, said “By and large Maryland is one of the leading states in beating back anti-choice legislation.”
This year, the Maryland Senate voted against a ban on D&X abortions, citing interpretations of such a law that might prohibit all abortions. The Virginia General Assembly and 22 other states have passed D&X bans.
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. . . .