A recent poll shows that nearly 77 percent of Portuguese want a new referendum on Portugal's restrictive abortion laws. The poll, conducted by the daily newspaper Diario de Noticias and TSF radio, also shows that three in five people believe that the government should decriminalize abortion, reports Agence France-Presse.
The poll was published a month after the Dutch Women on Waves ship traveled to Portugal to bring attention to the nation’s punitive abortion policies and to provide medical abortions using mifepristone for Portuguese women in international waters off the coast of Portugal. Upon arrival of the ship, the Portuguese Defense Minister, Paulo Portas, went so far as to call the small ship a “threat to national security” and sent navy ships to circle Women on Waves. According to the poll, 56.4 percent of those polled did not agree with the tactics used by the Defense Minister.
In 1998, a referendum that would have allowed abortion on demand up to the first 10 weeks of pregnancy was rejected by a narrow margin of 51 to 49 percent. Currently, abortion is allowed in Portugal only in cases when there are serious health concerns or when a woman has been raped.
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. . . .