Morning Roundup: Alaska Ballot Initiative Blocked


Alaska won’t see ballot initiative to make abortion illegal, state representative from North Carolina makes asinine comment on HIV/AIDS, ADF sues Vanderbilt nursing program because nurses have to be near women who’ve had abortions, Planned Parenthood of Indiana responds to Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN)’s plan to deny Title X funding.

  • An Alaska ballot initiative seeking to make abortion illegal will never see the inside of a voting booth, thanks to the Attorney General who recognized its clear unconstitutionality. The wording of the initiative was: “the natural right to life and body of the unborn child supersedes the statutory right of the mother to consent to the injury or death of her unborn child.”
  • Hard to believe this guy was recently re-elected, after running unopposed, but North Carolina state representative Larry Brown wants to cut off funding for adults with HIV and AIDS, because of their “perverted lifestyles.” He’s ok with the government paying for treatment for those born with the disease, but others, who “caused by the way they live” apparently should die painful unmedicated deaths. A woman who contracted HIV through what she thought was a monogamous relationship said in response, “Any human being who is engaging in any sexual activity is at risk.” Much milder than I could put it in response.
  • The Alliance Defense Fund has filed suit against Vanderbilt University for stating in a nurse residency program application that applicants may have to care for women who have terminated pregnancies. Not that the applicant would have to participate in the termination, but just be near a woman who has had an abortion.

    “University of Tennessee law professor Jeffrey Hirsch, who specializes in labor and employment law, said it doesn’t look like the Alliance Defense Fund has much of a case.
    “To the extent that Vanderbilt is correct in saying they don’t make anybody participate in abortions, it doesn’t look like they violate that law,” Hirsch said.

  • Planned Parenthood of Indiana president Betty Cockrum questions the logic of U.S. Rep. Mike Pence’s bill that would take away Title X family planning funds from any organization that provides abortion.  

    “I don’t understand how Congressman Pence can think it is good public health policy to take birth control away from low-income women,” said Betty Cockrum, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana. “The more we do to educate people and provide birth control, the fewer the unintended pregnancies there are and the fewer abortions there are.”

Jan 11

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  • crowepps

    Applicants to the nursing program’s women’s health track are required to sign an acknowledgment stating, “I am aware that I may be providing nursing care for women who are having” procedures including terminations of pregnancy.

    “It is important that you are aware of this aspect of care and give careful consideration to your ability to provide compassionate care to women in these situations,” the acknowledgment states. “If you feel you cannot provide care to women during this type of event, we encourage you to apply to a different track of the Nurse Residency Program to explore opportunities that may best fit your skills and career goals.”

    Seems to me Vanderbilt’s being really upfront and I sure don’t see how that statement sets up a situation that is “asking any medical provider to participate in” anything.  Is the idea that “religious freedom” gives nurses the right to refuse to care for any patients they consider ‘immoral’?