CEDAW defines discrimination and gives states a plan of action to ensure that the rights of women are equal to men. So far, 169 countries have ratified CEDAW, pledging to give women equal rights in all aspects of their lives including political, health, educational, social and legal. The United States is among the 22 countries that have yet to ratify the treaty - keeping company with such notorious women’s rights abusers as the Taliban’s Afghanistan, Monaco and Sudan.
In other Congressional news, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution voted 8-3 yesterday to mark up the so-called partial abortion ban. The Judiciary Committee will consider the bill that aims to outlaw a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal medical procedure next Wednesday, and full floor consideration could follow at any time after that.
Meanwhile, the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation to extend prenatal care to
low-income pregnant women through the State Children's Health Insurance
Program (SCHIP). An anti-choice amendment filed by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Don Nickles (R-OK) to codify the Bush Administration's controversial regulations making the “unborn child” - rather than the pregnant women - the SCHIP client, was not offered. With a strong showing from the pro-choice side, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on two reproductive-rights-related issues – refusal clauses and parental consent for family-planning services.
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. . . .