Weekly Round-Up: March 28, 2014


  • A recent federal court decision reviewing the Texas law passed last year which placed heavier restrictions on abortion clinics and doctors, found that the laws did not place an unconstitutional burden on a women’s access to abortion. The new law requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic and also places strict limits on a doctor’s ability to prescribe abortion-inducing pills. As a result of the recent decision, over a dozen abortion clinics will be shut down that fail to comply with the 30-mile hospital rule. For more about this law, please click here. (HuffingtonPost)


  • A recent study by the UCLA Civil Rights Project has shown that New York City schools are among the most segregated throughout the country.  According to the report, up to 85% of Black and Latino students attend “intensely segregated” schools.  The study also shows that over half New York City schools are more than 90% black or hispanic.  For more on the report, please click here. (Chalkbeat)


  • Last week, 300 same-sex Michigan couples were married before a federal appeals court granted a stay to stop the weddings from being performed.  Today, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government will recognize the marriages.  Recognition from the federal government allows for these couples to receive all relevant federal benefits.  For more information about this announcement, please click here. (Washington Post)

Public Health

  • The Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (CLASH) group has brought a suit against the City for the ban on the use of e-cigarettes in public spaces. The ban was signed into law at the end of Major Michael Bloomberg’s term and expanded the Smoke-Free Air Act. The local law is titled “A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the regulation of electronic cigarettes.” The suit does not address the health concerns of the e-cigarettes but instead addresses the inclusion of the ban in the smoking ban. Smoking advocates point to the New York State constitutional requirement that laws be limited to one subject and argue that banning e-cigarettes requires an additional law. For an article on this, please click here. (The Verge)