An internal memo from Sanford Health System lawyers indicating that the proposed abortion ban in South Dakota could have serious legal implications for hospitals was leaked on Wednesday. The abortion ban initiative, Measure 11 (see PDF), would amend the state constitution, "prohibiting abortions except in cases where the mother's life or health is at risk, and in cases of rape and incest." If approved by voters, this law would severely limit access to abortion.
The Sanford memo (see PDF) states, "Initiated Measure 11, if approved, will have substantial legal implications for Sanford Health and its providers ....for those instances where a pregnant woman faces uncertain, but potentially very serious health risks, Initiated Measure 11 will require a physician to choose between possibly committing a felony or subjecting a pregnant woman to a higher degree of medical risk than what would otherwise be clinically desirable."
According to the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families the memo "proves there is no exception for fatal fetal anomalies. And, it points out that criminal liability will extend beyond just doctors in South Dakota. Any person involved in the procedure would be in violation [including] doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other employees."
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 7/11/08; South Dakota Secretary of State; Sanford Health Interoffice Memo 10/6/08; South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families 10/16/08
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .