FDA Does Damage Control, Naming New Head of Women's Health
Women's groups reported in shock last week that Norris Alderson, PhD, a specialist in veterinary medicine, had been appointed to replace Susan Wood as acting director of the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Women's Health. However, late on Friday, the FDA appeared to do some damage control, announcing the appointment of Theresa Toigo, who has a pharmacy degree and an MBA, to the post.
On Monday, FDA spokesperson Suzanne Trevino told The Washington Post that Alderson had never been appointed to the position, despite the fact that he had been listed as acting director on the official website for the Office of Women’s Health, a statement announcing his appointment had been sent to women’s groups, and he had been introduced to the office’s staff as the acting director. Nonetheless, “There was no official decision made until we announced Theresa Toigo’s appointment,” Trevino told The Post. (Her office has not returned calls from Ms. magazine.)
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. . . .