Request Filed for Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception
Women's Capital Corporation, makers of the emergency contraceptive Plan B, submitted their request to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today to make Plan B available over the counter. The FDA is expected to make a decision in about 10 months, according to the Washington Post.
“The United States has the highest rate of unintended pregnancies in the industrialized world,” said Beth Jordan, MD, medical director of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “Since emergency contraception has the potential to prevent half of these pregnancies, the scientific imperative is clear: emergency contraception must be available over the counter.” Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy for up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, failed contraception, or rape. It is safer than aspirin, meets all of the FDA’s requirements for over the counter status, and is up to 95% effective if used within the first 24 hours. Emergency contraception has the potential to prevent 800,000 abortions in the United States annually.
Although emergency contraception is currently available with a prescription, many women face significant obstacles in obtaining it. Women at James Madison University in Virginia, for example, can no longer access emergency contraception at the campus health center, according to the Associated Press. The university’s board of visitors voted to stop dispensing emergency contraception after receiving a complaint from a state delegate.
“Emergency contraception is very time sensitive,” stated Dr. Jordan. “Women must be able to access emergency contraception immediately after unprotected sex. Emergency contraception’s unwarranted prescription status prevents women from doing so.”
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. . . .