Under legislation introduced by Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), emergency contraception (EC) would become available to all service members at all US military bases worldwide. The Compassionate Care for Servicewomen Act would add EC to the basic core formulary, a list of medications that are required to be stocked at all military health facilities. It would also enable military women without prior approval from their doctor to receive EC, according to the Air Force Times.
In a statement, Senator Franken said, "all servicewomen should have the same access to this medication as civilians do...The fact that more than 2,900 sexual assaults were reported last year in the military-a nine percent increase-only heightens the need to ensure emergency contraception is always available."
EC 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. EC does not terminate an existing pregnancy.
According to Air America, this bill will most likely not be considered as a piece of freestanding legislation, but will instead be considered as an amendment to the defense authorization bill.
Media Resources: Senator Al Franken Statement 12/17/09; Air Force Times 1/12/10; Air America 1/11/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 9/2/09
10/17/2014 Student Activists Across the Country Are Fighting Extreme Anti-Abortion Ballot Measures - In Tennessee, North Dakota, and Colorado - three states deciding ballot measures aimed at restricting birth control access and outlawing abortion in the upcoming election - student activists are mobilizing to get out the vote.
Members of student-ledFeminist Majority Leadership Alliancegroup Vanderbilt Feminists at Vanderbilt University have been working tirelessly to get out the word about Tennessee's Amendment 1, which would take the right of privacy for reproductive rights out of the state constitution and give local legislators the power to restrict access to abortion, even in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman, and outlaw many forms of birth control, such as the IUD or the pill. . . .