Abortion providers in Virginia will appear today in a Richmond, VA appeals court to challenge the constitutionality of a parental consent law which took effect July 1, 1997. According to statistics from the Virginia health department and abortion clinics show that teenage girls received 20 percent fewer abortions in Virginia since the law took effect, but opponents of the law believe that the young women traveled to Washington, DC, for the abortions, rather than face parents who may not support their decisions.
Abortion clinic and hot line employees report a dramatic increase in calls concerning how to get around the parental consent law. Amy Schriefer, a hot-line operator at the National Abortion Federation, said “it’s definitely a hot spot there .... Before, I never got calls from Virginia asking about D.C. and whether they had a parental law. But now, we get maybe seven to 10 calls a day, mostly from central and southern Virginia. They’re mostly desperate. They’re panicked,” said Schriefer.
Many clinics are also reporting out-of-state teens coming in with advanced stages of pregnancy, due to lapsed time while trying to figure out how to obtain an abortion without telling their parents.
Twenty-nine states have passed laws requiring parental consent or notification before a teenager can obtain an abortion. Simon Heller, a lawyer with the pro-choice group Center for Reproductive Law and Policy in New York, said “It just means that the Virginia General Assembly has accomplished its true purpose, which is not to benefit young women but to stop them from getting abortions in Virginia.”
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. . . .