Catholics for a Free Choice recently conducted a nationwide survey of 589 Catholic hospital emergency rooms to determine if emergency contraception was available to women who requested it. Women called emergency rooms anonymously to ask: "Is the 'morning-after pill' available?" When the response was "sometimes," the caller asked under what circumstances it was available; when the response was "no," the caller asked for a referral.
Out of the 589 hospitals surveyed, 82% denied women emergency contraception, even in cases of rape. Only 22% of the emergency rooms that did not provide emergency contraception provided a useful referral.
Of emergency rooms that did not provide a referral, 13% of the staff hung up on the caller before she was able to request a referral, and in 35% of the cases the staff was rude or verbally abusive to the caller.
Of the 91 Catholic hospitals that are sole providers of hospital services in their areas, 75% do not offer emergency contraception under any circumstances.
Variations were found in Catholic hospital policies concerning emergency contraception. CFFC found that of the 55 hospitals that provided emergency contraception to rape victims (9% of the 589 hospitals surveyed), six hospitals required the rape victim to report the assault to the police first. This additional barrier may discourage women who are reluctant to report the rape to the police from seeking emergency contraception.
Some hospitals provide emergency contraception within 72 hours, others within 24 hours, while some refuse to provide it at all. These inconsistencies pose an especially serious problem for women in time-sensitive situations, such as those needing emergency contraception. When a woman seeks help at a Catholic hospital emergency room, she may not know that she may be refused access to this birth control method.
To obtain a copy of the study, "Caution: Catholic Restrictions May be Hazardous to Your Health," contact Catholics for a Free Choice at www.cath4choice.org or 202-986-6093.
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. . . .