In Response to Global Gag Rule, Britain Pledges Money for Safe Abortion Services
The British government has announced that it will give three million pounds to the International Planned Parenthood Federation's new Global Safe Abortion Programme in response to the Bush Administration’s Global Gag Rule policy. 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, advocacy, and referrals. According to Reuters, the British government is hoping to encourage other countries to join them in defying the Bush Administration, whose policy has forced many clinics, such as those operated by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International, to close or curtail their services.
IPPF released a report called “Death and Denial: Unsafe Abortions and Poverty,” which has gained support from Britain’s Department for International Development. The report outlines how 19 million women will have unsafe abortions each year, causing the death of 70,000 women, 96 percent of whom live in the poorest countries. These deaths make up 13 percent of the 500,000 maternity- and pregnancy-related deaths of women every year. The Director General of IPPF, Steven Sinding, stated, “We are deeply grateful for this gesture – not only financially but politically. What I have never been able to figure out about American policy is why they persist in cutting down funding to organizations that are about preventing unwanted pregnancies,” reports BBC.
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 Though President Clinton rescinded the policy for the eight years of his presidency, President Bush issued an executive order to reinstate the Global Gag Rule during his first official day in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. . . .