Studies Released on EC, Controversy Continues in States
US minority women are less informed about emergency contraception (EC), also known as the "morning-after" pill, according to a new study by ACOG. In a survey of 330 black and Latina women 18 years and older, only eight percent had "some knowledge" of EC, 22 percent had "very little knowledge," and 70 percent had "no adequate knowledge," reported Reuters Health. However, most of those surveyed (94 percent) indicated interest in learning more about EC and family planning courses. Study author Dr. Danny W. Shaban, who attributed the disparity between minority and white women to varying media outreach, suggested that public health clinics and schools assume greater responsibility in disseminating EC information and that physicians also incorporate EC awareness into patient visits.
In a related study, also presented at the ACOG meeting, researchers found that women given a supply of EC versus just a prescription were more likely to use the medication to prevent pregnancy. Study author Dr. Eliza Ng told Reuters Health, EC should be a staple in any reproductive-age woman's medicine cabinet.
Last week Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore (R) issued a memorandum to state colleges insisting that dispensation of EC at university clinics does not violate Virginia's informed consent abortion law, which requires women to receive select information and wait 24 hours before undergoing an abortion. His statement came after James Madison University (JMU) last month stopped providing EC at the student health center, because of a letter from anti-abortion Delegate Robert Marshall (R-Manassas), claiming the drug causes abortions. In fact, EC prevents pregnancies by interrupting fertilization or preventing implantation, and the pills do not terminate an existing pregnancy. Kilgore's memo said each college's board of visitors should be responsible for deciding EC dispensation in campus clinics.
Meanwhile, a bill approved this week by the Hawaii Legislature requiring hospitals to provide EC to rape victims has prompted threats of legal action from the state's sole Catholic hospital system, St. Francis Healthcare System, reported the Honolulu Advertiser. St. Francis, claiming religion grounds, does not provide birth control or abortion services. Gov. Linda Lingle has not issued a decision on the bill.
8/3/2015 The Senate is Voting on Planned Parenthood Funding Today - A Senate bill to defund Planned Parenthood is expected to come to a vote today.
Sponsored by Republican Senator Joni Ernst (IA), Senate Bill 1881 would prohibit all Federal funding of Planned Parenthood or "any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics." The Senate will need 60 votes to advance the bill, which is being proposed following the release of highly edited video footage by anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).
The CMP's misleading videos claim that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue. . . .