Non-Prescription EC Passes Hawaii House Amid Controversy
Last week, the Hawaii House passed legislation that would enable women over the age of 18 to obtain emergency contraception (EC) from their pharmacists without a prescription. The bill faced opposition from anti-choice state representatives as well as the state Board of Pharmacy. Executive Director of the Board, Lee Ann Teshima, noted that the legislation, which requires pharmacists to complete a training program on emergency contraception, may unintentionally prevent some pharmacists from providing EC “even if a doctor issues a prescription.” Also at issue is the bill’s exclusion of minors. The Hawaii House Health Committee added an amendment to the bill that would prohibit young women under 18 from obtaining EC without a prescription. According to Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Reports, supporters of the bill have called for the removal of the amendment because “current state law allows minors to have access to medical care regarding venereal diseases, pregnancy and family planning services.” Young women are also the most at risk for unintended pregnancy and therefore most in need of EC. Four of every five pregnancies experienced by teenagers are unintended.
The Hawaii Senate will now consider the legislation. Also pending in the Senate is legislation that would require hospitals and clinics to offer EC to victims of sexual assault.
The Feminist Majority Foundation has launched a nationwide campaign to make EC available over-the-counter and to mainstream access to EC on college campuses. To learn more, visit www.PrescribeChoice.org.
Media Resources: Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 3/18/02; Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 3/14/02; Hawaii House of Representatives, HB 2806, Draft 2; Feminist Majority Foundation
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .