The Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) has charged the Bush Administration with secretly undermining the effort to fight HIV/AIDS by subjecting US AIDS funding to the Global Gag Rule. Organizations applying for grant funding would be required to agree to the "Mexico City Policy," as the Global Gag Rule is also known, according to revisions to eligibility criteria. According to CHANGE, the restrictions were included in a request for applications for HIV/AIDS work in Kenya, a move meant to attract little attention.
President Bush was forced to exempt US global AIDS funding from the Global Gag Rule in 2003 in the face of public protest, reports CHANGE. In March of that year, over 145 US organizations that work on public health, AIDS, and reproductive health, as well as over 300 parliamentarians, public health workers, and religious leaders sent a letter to Bush, stating that "...we oppose the Mexico City Policy in its current form, and we oppose any expansion of this policy to HIV/AIDS..." An Executive Order was announced in August that excluded US AIDS funds from the gag rule.
The gag rule currently in place bars family planning programs in countries that receive US federal aid from using separate, private monies for abortion counseling, services, and referrals. The Reagan Administration first imposed the Global Gag Rule in 1984. Though President Clinton rescinded the policy for the eight years of his presidency, President Bush issued an executive order to reinstate the Global Gag rule during his first official day in office in January 2001.
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. . . .