One week before the March for Women's Lives, leading women's groups released a scorecard grading the Bush Administration on issues affecting women around the world, finding the Bush Administration long on rhetoric but falling far short on reality. In announcing the grade of "C" for rhetoric and "F" for reality on international family planning and the global gag rule, Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, asserted that the Bush administration’s international family planning policies such as the global gag rule are "desperately injuring the poorest women in developing nations." "Despite pledges that the US supports international family planning, President Bush has placed ideological restrictions on these programs and backed away from established international agreements that protect women and children’s health," said Smeal
Regarding the international women’s treaty (CEDAW), June Zeitlin, executive director of WEDO, said, “Despite public pledges to support women’s rights globally, the Bush Administration has not endorsed the CEDAW treaty for the rights of women or other international commitments to women’s human rights,” resulting in a grade of “C” for rhetoric and “F” for reality.
Jodi Jacobson, executive director of CHANGE, asserted that “most of the money spent on HIV/AIDS is going to abstinence only until marriage programs” leaving people with no access to condoms and other means to protect themselves. The Bush Administration also received a “D” for rhetoric and an “F” for reality for its withholding of UNFPA funding because the Administration has overruled “its own experts” who investigated and cleared China of abuses in its UNFPA programs and still withheld the $34 million that Congress appropriated for this critical UN family planning fund.
The Feminist Majority, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), and the Communications Consortium Media Center (CCMC) previously released scorecards on the Bush Administration and global women’s issues in March, November, and August.
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. . . .