Several Massachusetts Hospitals Violating Emergency Contraception Laws
A statewide survey released yesterday by NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts found that staff at several hospitals may be in violation of a 2005 state law that requires emergency rooms to offer emergency contraception (EC) to rape survivors. The survey was conducted by a researcher posing as a rape crisis counselor who called 70 emergency rooms statewide to inquire about providing emergency contraception to a rape victim.
The survey's findings (see PDF) indicate that 7 of the 70 hospitals surveyed may be in violation of the 2005 law, with problems appearing to be more likely at Catholic facilities. Two Catholic hospitals that are part of the Caritas Christi Health Care system were identified as failing to offer EC. Both facilities reportedly told the researcher that "no, we don’t do that, you know we're a Catholic hospital," according to the Boston Globe.
In a press release, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Executive Director Andrea Miller said: "Three years ago, the commonwealth recognized that women who have survived the ultimate violation of rape deserve compassionate care, including access to emergency contraception to safeguard against getting pregnant from the attack…This apparent backsliding is unacceptable because it could leave women with no guarantee that they will get appropriate emergency care."
Media Resources: NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Press Release 12/16/08; Boston Globe 12/16/08; NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts 2008 EC Survey
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .