Anti-Abortion Extremist Eric Rudolph Could Face Death Penalty if Convicted
US District Court Judge C Lynwood Smith ruled that anti-abortion extremist Eric Robert Rudolph could be tried under a federal arson law, which would allow him to face the death penalty if convicted. According to the Associated Press, the defense attorneys pushed for Rudolph to be tried under the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act — which prohibits not only violence against abortion providers, clinic staff, patients, and volunteers, but also threats of violence — and only carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Rudolph is facing charges of the 1998 bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama women’s health clinic, which killed an off-duty police officer and severely maimed a nurse. Smith also recently set back the date for preliminary jury selection, from March 23 to April 6, the Associated Press reports. This could also delay opening arguments, which are set for the end of May. Rudolph is currently being held in solitary confinement in the Jefferson County jail in Alabama.
Rudolph is also accused of bombing an Atlanta-area abortion clinic in 1997, a lesbian and gay nightclub in Atlanta, and the Atlanta Olympic Park in 1996, which killed one person and injured 111 others. Rudolph was captured last May in North Carolina after eluding authorities for five years. He was placed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list in 1998 after the Birmingham clinic bombing.
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. . . .