Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law a bill on Tuesday that imposes 24-hour waiting periods on women seeking abortions in the state, and tightens the application of its parental notification laws. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, doctors must discuss the estimated age of a fetus, fetal pain, the risks of abortion, and alternatives with a woman, after which her 24-hour waiting period begins. The parental notification part of the measure requires that the parent or legal guardian be told if a minor seeks an abortion in Georgia, according to the Journal-Constitution. Georgia law previously allowed grandparents or other relatives to stand in for parents, according to the Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report.
Reproductive rights advocates see this legislation as both unnecessary and restrictive. Kay Scott, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Georgia, told the Journal-Constitution that restrictions on abortion are increasing “largely because these elected officials do not trust women to make these personal, private decisions themselves.” Furthermore, the Journal-Constitution notes that opponents to the law consider it unnecessary as doctors already provide women with information about medical risks and procedures. The Florida Times-Union reports that Becky Rafter, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia, criticized the legislation for failing to provide exceptions for rape or incest victims, and for further restricting access for low-income or rural women, saying "It's a bill that wants to put as many obstacles as possible for some one to access something that is their legal right."
The Florida Times-Union reports that a requirement that women be told of a link between abortion and breast cancer was removed from the legislation. The so-called link between breast cancer and abortion propagated by the anti-abortion movement has been thoroughly discounted by the medical community.
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. . . .