The State Department announced yesterday that it will send a 3-person delegation to China later this month to assess the United Nations Family Planning Association (UNFPA) activities there. The 3-member team will consist of William Brown, Former ambassador to Thailand and Israel, Bonnie Glick, a former Sate Department employee who worked in Ethiopia ad Nicaragua, and Dr. Theodore Tong, a public health professor from the University of Arizona. The delegation is expected to complete its visit and follow-up report by late June.
President Bush froze the US’s $34 million contribution to the UNFPA after anti-choice forces accused the agency of contributing to forced sterilizations and abortions in China. The UNFPA contends that it only works in Chinese counties where the one-child per family rule is no longer in effect and does not use US money for programs in China. Bush’s decision to freeze the US contribution has created a financial hardship for the UNFPA, resulting in staff and program cuts that could leave hundreds of thousands of women in developing countries without health care.
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. . . .