Bush Criticized for “Faith-Based” Plan, Global Gag Rule
At a retreat for Democratic House members this weekend, George W. Bush faced tough questions about his first executive order, which reinstated the “global gag rule,” and about his new faith-based social services program. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) accused Bush of using a double standard, reinstating the global gag rule and then allowing religious organizations to perform social services, not religious ones, using government money. The gag rule prohibits family planning programs outside the U.S. who receive US funds from using private, separate monies to counsel abortions, and threatens removal of much-needed funding for a whole range of reproductive and women’s health services. Democratic participants said Bush did not directly answer Pelosi’s questions, and did not provide a “clear” explanation of his reasoning for the faith-based program.
The European Union also criticized Bush’s decision to reinstate the global gag rule, announcing last week that it will “fill in the gaps” created by Bush’s decision. EU Development Commissioner Paul Neilson said last week that EU officials were “angered” by Bush’s executive order, and said that supporting the work of programs like the UN Fund for Population Activities and International Planned Parenthood Federation was paramount.
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. . . .