Washington State Hospitals Must Provide EC to Rape Survivors
Emergency rooms in Washington state hospitals will now be required to provide emergency contraception (EC) to victims of rape. The bill, which was signed into law last week by Washington governor Gary Locke (D), establishes a statewide protocol for treating rape survivors in hospital emergency rooms. At issue, however, are the state’s Catholic hospitals and their willingness to comply with the law. Two Catholic hospitals in Spokane announced that it had been their policy to administer EC in emergency situations to rape survivors, but victim advocates assert that few patients actually receive EC at these Catholic hospitals. Advocates claim that women may not be informed that EC is an option and that those who inquire about EC have sometimes been ignored.
Women’s rights advocates are hoping that the new law will increase access to EC. Already in Washington, women can obtain the pills from pharmacists without a physician’s prescription. Only two other states have similar policies: California and Alaska.
EC can prevent unintended pregnancy if taken within 72-hours of intercourse. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, there are 3 million unintended pregnancies in the US each year. EC has the potential to cut the number of unintended pregnancies in half and prevent as many as 800,000 abortions each year. The Feminist Majority Foundation has launched a nationwide campaign to make EC available over-the-counter throughout the U.S. and to mainstream access to the pills on college campuses. To learn more, visit www.PrescribeChoice.org.
Media Resources: Spokane Spokesman-Review, 4/1/02; Feminist Majority Foundation
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .
4/29/2015 Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform and an End to Mass Incarceration - Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum today, addressing directly criminal justice reforms she would like to see to prevent another "incarceration generation."
"It's time the end the era of mass incarceration," Clinton declared to much applause, citing statistics about the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration that black men in America face. . . .