Emergency Contraception Approved Without Prescription in Australia
The Australian Therapeutic Goods Association Committee on National Drugs and Poisons made a preliminary decision to allow the selling of emergency contraception (EC) over the counter. The committee will vote again in October to confirm the decision, which would place strict guidelines on pharmacists, such as talking to the customer about their sexual health and the side effects of the pill, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The Public Health Association of Australia supports making EC available over the counter because it would reduce the number of unwanted and unplanned pregnancies while cutting public health costs, according the Courier Mail. However, the Telegraph reports that the Australian Medical Association opposes the decision to make EC available without a prescription, arguing that "access to these drugs should ideally take place in the context of a medical consultation that addresses the range of health issues relating to unprotected sexual intercourse."
In the United States, the Feminist Majority Foundation, along with a host of other reproductive health and rights groups, including American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Medical Association, are advocating for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of over-the-counter status for EC. The Women's Capital Corporation, makers of Plan B, have submitted a request to the FDA for over-the-counter status. The FDA is expected to make its decision by early 2004.
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. . . .