So-Called "Pro-Life" Pharmacies Refuse to Stock Birth Control
A small but growing number of so-called "pro-life" pharmacies are refusing to stock birth control products, condoms, and emergency contraception. The Washington Post reports that these pharmacy owners refuse to stock such items due to so-called "moral objections," and even refuse to provide referrals to obtain safe and legal birth control elsewhere.
California, New Jersey, Illinois and Washington state have begun requiring pharmacies to fill all prescriptions or provide a referral to help women fill them elsewhere, and at least another 10 states are considering such requirements, according to the Washington Post. However, it is unclear how such regulations will apply to these pharmacies.
"Rape victims could end up in a pharmacy not understanding this pharmacy will not meet their needs," said Marcia Greenberger of the National Women's Law Center, according to the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report, "We've seen an alarming development of pharmacists over the last several years refusing to fill prescriptions, and sometimes even taking the prescription from the woman and refusing to give it back to her so she can fill it in another pharmacy."
Media Resources: Washington Post 6/16/08; Daily Women Health Policy Report 6/16/08
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. . . .