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.
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The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
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10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .