More than 170 clinics from 14 states and the District of Columbia received threatening letters yesterday containing a white powder. The letters stated, “You have been exposed to anthrax. We are going to kill you. Army of God, Virginia DARE Chapter.” Clinic workers opened envelopes believing that they came from the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Marshall Service – the return address indicated on the envelopes. Postmarks on the envelopes were marked Atlanta, GA; Knoxville, TN; Chattanooga, TN; or Columbus, OH. County health officials are currently testing the letters’ contents for anthrax spores.
The Army of God (AOG) is a clandestine, violent anti-abortion extremist group who has claimed responsibility for several abortion clinic bombings and arsons across the country, including a 1998 fatal bombing at an abortion clinic in Alabama. AOG has also been implicated in the 1996 Olympic Park bombing as well as the bombing of an abortion clinic and a gay and lesbian nightclub in Atlanta. The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) has been monitoring the Army of God since 1982. FMF President Eleanor Smeal declared “We must have a zero tolerance for both domestic and global terrorism. At a time like this, these incidents must be taken seriously.”
The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) makes these anthrax threats a violation of federal law. Margie Moore, Director of Law Enforcement Operations for the FMF’s National Clinic Access Project urged clinic staff who receive these letters, or any other threatening letters, to notify local law enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately.
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. . . .