The Fourth District Court of Appeals struck down a Florida law that required birth mothers, including rape victims and teenage girls, who wanted to give their child up for adoption to take out newspaper ads publicizing their sexual histories, purportedly to identify the father. The court said the law “violates a fundamental right to privacy,” according to the Miami Herald. The state, which refused to defend the law, also failed to show how the rights of the father or the state could outweigh “the privacy rights of mother and child in not being identified in such a personal, intimate and intrusive manner,” the Herald reports.
“It subjected women to public humiliation and harassment for no benefit,” said Mariann Wang, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, according to Click10.com. Florida state Senator Walter Campbell, sponsor of the bill, acknowledged that it had problems but wants to try again. According to the Associated Press, he wants a bill passed that would establish a confidential registry for men who believed they fathered a child; if a woman named as a partner puts a baby up for adoption, the man would be notified.
Media Resources: Associated Press 4/23/03; Miami Herald 4/24/03; Click10.com 4/24/03
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. . . .