Amendment to Block Expansion of Global Gag Rule Passes
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to block the Bush Administration's efforts to expand a ban that prohibits US funds from being directed to any overseas program that provides information about abortions, abortion counseling, abortion services or that lobbies for the legalization of abortion in their country-- even with private funds.
Senator Harry Reid's (D-NV) amendment to the Commerce-Justice-State Bill to block the expansion of the global gag rule passed only a few days after President Bush announced his plans to expand the global gag rule last week. According to Reid, "The Global Gag Rule is a policy that should be abolished, not expanded. The amendment we passed today will protect women and free speech around the world."
The US State Department recently announced it would halt government funding for Marie Stopes International (MSI), an HIV/AIDS program serving African and Asian refugees. Despite admitting there was no evidence linking the MSI with forced abortions and sterilizations in China, State Department officials insisted the organization's collaboration with the Chinese government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was sufficient reason for the move.
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. . . .