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
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .