US District Judge Anita Brody signed an order to delay the sentencing of self-proclaimed anti-abortion "terrorist" Clayton Lee Waagner until the US Supreme Court rules on two unrelated cases that will clarify federal sentencing guidelines. Waagner was convicted of mailing envelopes filled with fake anthrax to women’s health clinics in December 2003. At his trial, Wagner called himself a terrorist, saying that those who provide abortions deserve to be shot, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.
Waagner is expected to face decades in prison on counts that include threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction. Waagner was placed on the FBI’s most wanted list after escaping from prison in 2001, reports WATE.com, at which time authorities found a pipe bomb and anti-abortion literature in a vehicle he had abandoned.
The constitutionality of federal sentencing guidelines, in place for the past 17 years, was called into question recently when the US Supreme Court ruled that only juries, not judges, have the authority to lengthen the sentence of a convict past the statutory norm, according to CentreDaily.com. The Supreme Court will likely take up the matter in October. In the meantime, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Waagner is already serving a 49-year term for weapons violations and car theft.
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. . . .