The Missouri state House approved an amendment to a licensing bill this week that could restrict access to Emergency Contraception (EC), also known as Plan B, in the state. The amendment, adopted in a 115 to 43 vote, would allow pharmacies to choose whether or not to stock EC, according to the Associated Press.
The amendment is similar to "conscience" statutes that have been introduced in other states. Lawsuits against pharmacies refusing to provide EC would be barred under the measure and pharmacies would not need to direct customers to other establishments carrying the medication, according to the Associated Press. Emergency contraception is effective up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex, birth control failure, or rape, but it is most effective (95 percent) if taken within 24 hours. Because of the time-sensitive nature of EC, over-the-counter access is crucial to its effective use.
State Representative Mary Still told The Missourian "To implement a law like this, especially in a rural area, seems to me to put another road block before women....This is one more weapon of mass distraction that we see at a time where we should be paying attention to the real issues of the state."
Edward Korman, a New York District Court Judge, ruled in March that the FDA must reconsider its 2006 ruling that allowed EC to be sold without a prescription to women 18 and older. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this month that they will not appeal the court's order and that EC will be available over-the-counter to women as young as 17.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 4/23/09; Associated Press 4/29/09; The Missourian 4/28/09
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. . . .