Minnesota enacted a new law this month that will make birth control more affordable and accessible. The law gives family-planning clinics the right to buy birth control at bulk rates through cooperative purchasing agreements. Peg LaBore, executive director of a Minnesota family-planning clinic, estimated that the legislation will reduce the price of contraception "by at least 50 percent," according to the Minnesota Star Tribune.
In the past, clinics were forced to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies on their own, frequently resulting in orders that proved "too small to receive the best prices," according to the Star Tribune. With the passage of this law, the Minnesota commissioner of human services will work with clinics to made contraception more affordable. The new law also increases access to birth control by allowing nurses to dispense contraception under the supervision of a medical director. This new arrangement will address the problems faced by small, rural clinics that may not have a full-time doctor on staff. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
"For younger women especially, affordability and one-stop shopping really matters. They are more likely to use contraceptives responsibly if they can get what the need in one place," LaBore told the Star Tribune.
This legislation marks a victory in a time when the cost of birth control is skyrocketing for clinics serving low-income women and college students due to a provision in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which reduced incentives for drug companies to offer discounted contraceptives to low-cost health-care providers. The change, which went into effect at the beginning of this year, can cause financial stress for both individual women and family planning clinics. Ms. magazine reports that some clinics "may be forced to shut down if prices aren't soon reduced, leaving poor women with even fewer resources."
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .