The 105th Congress passed several restrictions on abortion this year. On June 5, the House adopted an amendment to the State Department Authorization bill which bans funding for overseas organizations that use their own money to promote or perform abortions. The U.S. is already prohibited from making direct contributions to overseas abortions. Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), who sponsored the amendment, plans to propose a similar one to the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. Both Houses voted to keep a ban on abortions in overseas military hospitals in place, even if the women want to pay for the procedures themselves. On July 22, the Senate adopted an amendment that, for the third year, would prevent federal employee health plans from paying for abortions except in the cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the woman. Congress this year reauthorized the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortions except in the cases mentioned above. This amendment would also apply to the children’s health initiatives in both Budget Reconciliation bills. The Senate passed a bill May 20 that would outlaw D&X procedures, but the House has not yet voted on it.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
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. . . .