NYC Pilot Program Gives Plan B to High School Students
A pilot program initiated in private school health clinics in New York City was expanded into 13 public schools. The program called CATCH, Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health, seeks to reduce teen pregnancy by providing contraceptive care. Through CATCH students can receive condoms, pregnancy tests, birth control pills, Depo-Provera (an injection that prevents pregnancy for three months, and the morning after pill Plan B. According to the New York Times, the program has been in effect in public schools since January 2011 but did not receive much attention until now.
To get Plan B, a student needs to do is go to the school nurse or clinic and say that they have had unprotected sex. The student will then take a pregnancy test and if it is negative, the nurse can dispense the medication.
Parents or Guardians can sign an "opt-out" form removing their child from the program. Opponents of CATCH claim the program will lead to more sexually active young teens.
One pair of 14 year olds told the New York Post "I don't want to be a young kid who gets pregnant and can't find a job" and "I would go to the nurse without telling my parents, and I would ask for help."
Media Resources: Washington Times 9/25/12; New York Post 9/23/12; New York Times 9/23/12
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .