Kansas Will Comply With Medicaid Regulations, Fund Abortions
A federal district judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline (R) that sought to prevent Kansas from funding abortions for the state's Medicaid recipients. Kline filed the suit in summer 2005, attempting to define life as beginning at conception and arguing that Medicaid-funded abortions conflicted with the right-to-life provision of the state constitution. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) was listed as a defendant in the case, and filed a motion to dismiss the case in October, as federal law dictates that states cover the cost of abortion in cases of rape, incest, or danger to a woman’s health, and the federal government could withdraw all federal Medicaid funding if Kansas attempted to ban these abortions.
District Judge David Bruns agreed with Sebelius, writing in his opinion, "To the extent that the federal government has 'occupied the field,' all of the branches of state government are required to yield to the laws and regulations of the United States," according to the Associated Press. Kline does not intend to file an appeal unless told to do so by the Kansas legislature, which earlier prompted this lawsuit with a 2002 legislative resolution.
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. . . .