EC, Health Exception Amendments to Abortion Procedures Ban Defeated
The Senate on Tuesday rejected an amendment introduced by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Harry Reid (D-NV) to provide $10 million over five years to improve awareness about emergency contraception (EC), make EC available to rape victims in emergency rooms across the country, and require insurance companies to cover prescription contraceptives. The amendment was proposal by pro-choice senators to mitigate the negative impact of the so-called "partial birth" abortion ban (S. 3), which is likely to pass in the Senate this week The amendment garnered 49 votes—11 short of the 60 needed for government spending beyond budget.
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced an amendment today that would allow exemptions to the abortion procedures ban in cases where two physicians certify that a continuation of the pregnancy imposes risk to the woman’s health. That amendment failed by a vote of 60-38.
Abortion rights advocates argue that the S. 3 not only unconstitutionally excludes a health exception for the pregnant woman, but its vague language threatens to stop doctors from performing various types of abortions, including safe early term procedures. Groups such as the Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Abortion Federation have vowed to immediately launch lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the bill should it pass. In 2000, the US Supreme Court overturned a similar Nebraska ban in Stenburg v. Carhart, citing the lack of a health exception.
Media Resources: NY Times 3/12/03; Washington Post 3/12/03; Associated Press 3/12/03; Newsday 3/11/03; Feminist Daily News
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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. . . .
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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. . . .