Recently, an Illinois Appeals Court ruled in favor of two pharmacists who refused to fill emergency contraception prescriptions on the basis of their religious beliefs. On Friday, September 21, the court determined the plaintiffs', Luke Vander Bleek and Glenn Kosirog, right to conscience permitted them from dispensing the morning-after pill as required by a 2005 executive order.
An amicus brief on behalf of the state has been filed in response by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois (ACLU). Ed Yohnka, ACLU spokesperson responded to the Appeals Court ruling by saying, "We are dismayed that the court expressly refused to consider the interests of women who are seeking lawful prescription medication and essentially held that the religious practice of individuals trumps women's health care."
In February, Washington state officials blocked the state from enforcing rules requiring pharmacists to provide emergency contraception regardless of religious objections. Last week, the New York City school system began a pilot program offering emergency contraception to some high schools students.
Media Resources: Feminist Newswire 09/27/12; Washington Times 02/22/12; Huffington Post 09/21/12; Court Opinion 09/21/12; Chicago Tribune 09/22/12
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. . . .