New Jersey Law Will Require Hospitals to Provide EC to Sexual Assault Victims
Governor Richard Codey of New Jersey recently signed legislation that will require hospitals in the state to inform sexual assault victims about emergency contraception (EC) in order to prevent unwanted pregnancy after rape. The law will also require all New Jersey hospitals to dispense EC to patients who request it, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. This legislation, referred to as “Compassionate Care for Survivors of Sexual Assault,” makes New Jersey the fifth state with such a law, joining New York, Washington, California, and New Mexico, according to Women’s eNews.
The Justice Department's recently released guidelines do not mention offering EC to rape victims – an omission that has spurred criticism from many women’s, civil liberties, and health groups across the country. Ninety-seven US members of Congress, led by Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), sent a letter in January to the Department of Justice, in which they "strongly urged" the revision of its new guidelines for the treatment of sexual assault survivors to include information about emergency contraception.
The Congress members’ letter to Diane Stuart, Director of DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women, said that "by failing to even mention ... [emergency contraception] as a potential option for sexual assault victims, the department ignores a crucial opportunity to provide vital and time-sensitive health care to victims of rape and sexual assault." Maloney said, "It is clear that the administration's ideological opposition to choice now even extends to rape victims. Women who are sexually violated at the very least deserve the right to prevent unwanted pregnancies."
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. . . .