US District Judge Ronald Leighton heard closing arguments last week in a lawsuit concerning a law requiring that pharmacists sell emergency contraception. Washington state law mandates that pharmacists stock and provide their patients with medicines that they medically need. Nevertheless, pharmacists may be permitted to request that another pharmacist at the same location provide the patient with the medication.
In 2007, Judge Leighton blocked the law from going into effect after two pharmacists filed a suit, claiming that the law violated their religious freedom protected by the constitution. However, a panel of judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the ruling and returned the case to Judge Leighton, claiming that he applied the wrong legal standard.
Leighton's ruling is expected in a few weeks. Currently Plan B is available to women 17 years and older without a prescription. But because of the restriction that females under 17 must have a prescription to buy Plan B, it is only available for all women behind the counter of a pharmacy. Levonorgestrel, sold under the brand name Plan B, is a form of emergency contraception that must be taken within 72 hours of sexual activity.
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 2/3/12; Associated Press 2/1/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/14/12
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .