US Supreme Court Lets Stand Massachusetts Abortion Clinic Buffer Law
By declining to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling, the US Supreme Court earlier this week let stand a Massachusetts law that prohibits protesters from coming within six feet of abortion clinic patients to disturb them or hand them leaflets. The law, which also establishes an 18-foot zone around abortion clinics in which protestors cannot interact with visitors or staff, had been ruled as constitutional last October by the 1st US Circuit Court. The law’s creation was prompted by the killing of two clinic staff in two separate Massachusetts clinics by John Salvi in December 1994.
“This is really a common sense measure,” Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly said, according to the Boston Globe. “It protects a woman’s right to seek medical care without being intimidated and harassed … you can’t be getting in someone’s face.”
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
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. . . .