Massachusetts Wal-Marts Must Stock Emergency Contraception
Tuesday, the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy unanimously decided to require Wal-Marts in the state to stock emergency contraception (EC), making it the second state where women can fill EC prescriptions at the retail giant. Illinois already had a state law requiring pharmacies that stock any form of contraception to also stock EC. Wal-Mart spokesperson Dan Fogelman said that the retailer would review its stance on EC on a national basis as well, telling the Boston Globe that "We are actively thinking through this issue."
The decision came mere weeks after three women sued Wal-Mart for violating state policies that pharmacies stock all "commonly prescribed medications." Plaintiff Dr. Rebekah Gee told the Associated Press "I'm proud to be able to tell my patients that they now can go anywhere for their prescriptions." Furthermore, one of the women's lawyers, Sam Perkins, announced his willingness to file similar suits in other states and push Wal-Mart to stock EC around the country. Planned Parenthood interim president Karen Pearl praised the decision in a statement, saying "No woman should be put at risk for unintended pregnancy. We urge Wal-Mart to reverse its longstanding policy and make EC available in all stores nationwide."
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. . . .