A Florida Appeals Court ruled on Friday that the state could not appoint a guardian for a mentally disabled rape victim's fetus. Justice Emerson R. Thompson wrote that "we find no Florida statute or case law that has determined a fetus to be a person," according to the New York Times.
Last spring, Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) intervened in the case when Florida's circuit court denied requests made by those who wanted to prevent the woman from having an abortion to appoint a guardian for the fetus. The New York Times reports that some see Jeb Bush's intervention as a way to satisfy conservatives and to win support for President Bush's 2004 election.
Abortions rights advocates believe that Jeb Bush's argument that fetuses deserve guardianship is a step towards preventing abortions broadly, reports that Miami Herald. According to Howard Simon, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, "When you set up a guardian for a fetus, you're creating a situation with the mother and the fetus having competing legal rights...there was no masking that this was a crusade to change the law, to limit the rights of women and bring to the Supreme Court something that would overturn Roe v. Wade," reports the New York Times.
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. . . .