Republicans Introduce Legislation to Ban Federal Affirmative Action Programs
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Representative Charles Cannady (R-FL) have introduced legislation that would eliminate all federal affirmative action programs. The measure, deceptively titled the "Civil Rights Act of 1997," has an additional 49 House sponsors and two Senate sponsors. In a recent San Diego University commencement address, President Clinton reaffirmed his support of affirmative action programs. Clinton is expected to oppose the proposed anti-affirmative action legislation. Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) commented on the legislation, "I think the Republicans are playing with fire...[affirmative action programs have worked and] given many people who look like me an opportunity that I would not have otherwise." Jackson-Lee also noted that admissions of people of color at universities in Texas and California, where affirmative action programs were this year disbanded, have plummeted.
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. . . .