Senators Introduce EC Amendment to So-Called “Partial-Birth” Abortion Ban
As debate continued on the floor of the US Senate today over unconstitutional legislation that would ban so-called "partial birth” abortions, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced an amendment that would provide $10 million over the next five years to improve awareness about emergency contraception (EC), make EC available to rape victims in every emergency room across the country and require insurance companies to cover contraceptives.
“If we are going to jeopardize women’s health by banning certain health procedures, we must protect women’s health by covering contraceptives,” Murray argued on the floor this morning. “Women who have been raped should be informed of all their options,” Reid added. “EC has been studied extensively and is regarded as a safe and effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies.”
EC is a concentrated dose of birth control hormones that is up to 95 percent effective at preventing pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse, contraception failure, or rape. EC could prevent 1.7 million unintended pregnancies and reduce the number of abortions by 800,000 in the United States alone, according to a 1998 study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Despite this drug's incredible potential to advance women's reproductive health care, 9 out of 10 women of reproductive age do not know about emergency contraception and only 1 out of 5 physicians regularly discuss it with their patients, according to Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Women’s Capital Corporation – which distributes Plan-B, a brand of EC – is planning to submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make EC available over the counter. The Feminist Majority Foundation is submitting petitions in support of this important initiative to expand and protect women's reproductive rights.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
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. . . .