For the fourth year in a row, the Bush Administration has withheld delivering $34 million in Congressionally approved funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), based on false allegations that the UNFPA participates in coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization in China. This funding would have been used to prevent as many as 2 million unwanted pregnancies and 4,700 maternal deaths in developing countries. Moreover, the cutoff reduces urgently needed funds to treat women suffering from obstetric fistula or other illnesses from childbirth in the developing nations.
“This decision is disheartening because it contradicts clear evidence that UNFPA works hard to end coercion by proving the efficacy and superiority of the voluntary approach to family planning over any other alternative,” said Thoraya Obaid, UNFPA’s Executive Director.
When Bush first began withholding funds in 2002, activists Jane Roberts and Lois Abraham formed 34 Million Friends for UNFPA to try to replace some of the lost funds (now totaling $136 million). To date they have raised more than $2.7 million. For more information or to donate to the cause, visit www.34millionfriends.org.
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. . . .