FL House Passes Controversial Abortion Restrictions
The Florida House of Representatives passed an abortion measure last Thursday that would outlaw abortion based on the sex or race of the fetus. HB 845, "Termination of Pregnancy Based on Sex or Race of Unborn Child," passed on what anti-choice activists have declared "Right to Life" day on a vote of 71 to 44.
The bill's sponsor, Representative Charles Van Zant (R) from Keystone Heights, who is white, stated that abortion groups target black women. "In America alone - without the Nazi Holocaust, without the Ku Klux Klan - Planned Parenthood and other abortionists have reduced our black population by more than 25 percent since 1973," Van Zant told the House.
Despite Van Zant's assertion that the legislation was to prevent what he called "discriminatory targeting," many black Representatives were offended during the debate and a few even left the proceedings. Representative Barbara Watson (D) of Miami chose to leave. She later told the Huffington Post, "I don't appreciate anyone trying to explain what any other ethnic group's lifestyle is and what they do, when you really don't have any authority to interpret it. I think the women and people of color in that chamber deserve an apology from him, but I don't know that it would actually change his point of view."
Media Resources: Huffington Post 3/19/13; The Florida Current 4/18/13; The Miami Herald 4/18/13; Florida House of Representatives
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. . . .