SD: Governor Signs into Law the Nation's Toughest Anti-Abortion Bills
Governor Michael Rounds (R) signed four of the nation's toughest anti-abortion bills into law last week that will drastically restrict a woman's right to choose in South Dakota. The first requires doctors to inform women who seek an abortion that they will be terminating the life of “a whole, separate, unique, living human being” with which the woman has “an existing relationship” that is protected by the US Constitution and the laws of South Dakota, the National Post reports.
Another law signed by Rounds would outlaw abortion in the state if the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose was no longer protected by the federal government. The bill, known as a “trigger statute” and sponsored by state Representative Joel Dykstra (R), would not offer exceptions for rape or incest or for the health of the woman, but only for the life of the woman. The bill would make performing an abortion a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison.
Shortly after signing the trigger statute, Rounds discovered that through sloppy wording, the law inadvertently ended the state’s ability to even regulate abortion until such time as Roe v. Wade is overturned, according to the Associate Press, which individual states are currently allowed to do. Emergency legislation to fix the flaw was introduced earlier this week and passed with little discussion or debate, just in time before the state’s legislative session ends.
The third bill signed by the governor would require parental notification within 24 hours of a minor having an emergency abortion, unless the minor could obtain a court order permitting confidentiality. Under the current law, parental notification is not required for emergency abortions. The final bill signed creates a state task force intended to study the history of abortion since it became a constitutionally protected right in 1973.
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. . . .