Last week the North Carolina state House of Representatives passed a health education bill requiring middle school students to be taught in sex-ed classes that abortion is a cause of pre-term births in future pregnancies.
The bill, Senate Bill 132 , requires an addition to the current health education program in the form of information on risks for premature births. The bill focuses on teaching children that having an abortion will cause pre-term complications in later pregnancies, though the medical justification behind such a link is debated. Other risk factors have been added as well, including "smoking, alcohol consumption, illicit drug use, and inadequate prenatal care." The original bill did not include this list of other factors and used the term "cause" instead of "risk" when talking about abortion.
House Democrats have opposed the bill on the grounds that the medical evidence is not conclusive and that the topic may not be appropriate for seventh graders. House Republicans cite the existence of education about other sexual health topics as a counter-argument and point to a study from the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force as justification of the claim.
According to the bill, current health education in North Carolina involves an abstinence-only program and aspiration towards a "mutually faithful monogamous heterosexual relationship in the context of marriage" for all.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .