Senate Bill 2795, also known as the "Women's Health Defense Act," [PDF] passed in the Mississippi Senate yesterday on a 39 to 12 vote. The Mississippi State Medical Association, concerned that the regulations would potentially criminalize abortion providers, released a memo which stated, "Mississippi physicians have strong and serious concerns about SB 2795." The language of the bill was modified to address these concerns and has since lost support from some abortion opponents that consider the bill that passed to be "watered down."
Senate Bill 2795 could force abortion providers to follow outdated FDA guidelines for the prescription of mifepristone and misoprostol, abortion-inducing medications, and requires a physician to administer all doses. This would require women to go to four doctor appointments to complete a medical abortion, which would only be available within the first seven weeks after a woman's last normal menstrual period. The Senate bill also requires that doctors report every prescription of mifepristone to the Mississippi Department of Health.
This bill is the just the latest attempt to eliminate abortion in the state of Mississippi. Though a "Personhood" Amendment was overwhelmingly defeated in 2011, in April 2012 Mississippi's governor, Phil Bryant, signed House Bill 1390 into law. Under House Bill 1390, doctors who perform abortions must have admitting privileges at a local hospital and they must be board certified OB-GYNs. Currently both primary physicians at the state's only abortion clinic are board certified, but have been denied privileges by every local hospital. As a result, the clinic is currently facing the threat of closure.
Media Resources: Clarion Ledger 2/14/13; Sun Herald 2/14/13; Feminist Newswire 2/6/13
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. . . .