Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle (D) stood up for patients' rights by vetoing a bill last week that aimed to expand so-called 'conscience clause' protections for health care workers. Medical students and pharmacists who refused to participate in medical procedures or fulfill prescriptions they found objectionable would have been covered under the so-called ‘conscience clauses,’ and the bill would have protected workers from punishment even if they refused to refer a patient to another professional for the treatment, reports the Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report. The bill would also have lengthened the list of protected procedures to include the destruction of embryos, and the use of embryonic cells or fetal tissue not obtained from a miscarriage or stillbirth, in addition to already-protected abortion, euthanasia and sterilization procedures. The veto will stand, as there are not the necessary votes for an override, according to the Madison Capital Times.
In his veto message, Governor Doyle described this bill as “identical” to one that he vetoed in 2004, and strongly objected to the lack of referral requirements. “This bill doesn't even require health care providers to give you a referral to someone else if they object to a particular treatment,” Gov. Doyle said. “In fact, the doctor wouldn't even have to tell you about a treatment option that might exist. Even if your life was threatened, this bill would allow a doctor to withhold lifesaving medical care.” In a public statement announcing his veto, Doyle said, “Because it puts a doctor's political views ahead of the best interests of patients, this legislation ought to be called the ‘unconscionable clause.’”
Media Resources: Kaiser Network 10/19/05; Press Release from the Office of Jim Doyle, 10/14/05; Governor Doyle’s Veto Message 10/14/05; Madison Capital Times 10/15/05
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defundÂ Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).Â Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell asÂ out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of twoÂ heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .