Elections in Mexico Further Threaten Women's and Gay Rights
After seventy-one years of struggle for democracy in Mexico to overthrow the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the world's longest ruling political party with a history of corruption and economic irresponsibility, feminists and lesbian and gay rights activists face an even greater threat to their equality in Sunday's upcoming elections: the possibility of the National Action Party (PAN) coming to rule. Feminists worry that election of the PAN government will mean a large range of setbacks for women and gays and lesbians. The deeply conservative PAN, which has strong ties to the Catholic Church, strongly opposes abortion, and feminists fear that the already limited access to abortion in Mexico would be further jeopardized. Currently, abortion in Mexico is legal only in cases of rape or in which the mother's life is at risk. Limits on sex education in school and birth control programs are also likely to occur under PAN's authority. PAN's presidential candidate Vicente Fox, who is openly against abortion, has in the past called homosexuality an "aberration," which leads many gay rights activists to fear a likely escalation of already strong anti-gay sentiment in Mexico. Reports have indicated that persecution of gays and lesbians in Mexico has been so severe that many seek refuge status in other countries.
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. . . .