Legislators in Congress have introduced a bill that would require hospitals that receive federal funds to provide access to emergency contraception for sexual assault victims. The Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies (CARE) Act was introduced in the House (H.R. 2527) on June 19 by Representatives Jim Greenwood (R-PA) and Steve Rothman (D-NJ) and introduced in the Senate (S. 1564) on August 1 by Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ). Rep. Greenwood summed up the importance of this bill in a statement to the Republican Pro-Choice Coalition, "The CARE Act is a compassionate piece of legislation that will assist thousands of women who are victims of assault each year, and its passage will help reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions."
EC is 95% effective in the first 24 hours after unprotected sex, failed contraception, or rape to prevent pregnancy by interfering with ovulation, fertilization, or implantation. Despite the time sensitive nature and documented benefits of EC, Sen. Corzine lamented in his introductory statement that a survey of New York emergency rooms found 54 percent did not routinely provide EC to sexual assault survivors, and a similar survey found the number was 72 percent in Pennsylvania. "I believe it is unacceptable that a rape victim's access to standard care depends on the hospital to which she is taken. All healthcare institutions that counsel or treat women who have been raped should consistently inform, provide or meaningfully refer women for emergency contraception."
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 (AMA), are advocating for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of over-the-counter status for EC so women can access this pill quickly and easily all over the United States. The Women's Capital Corporation, makers of Plan B, has submitted a request to the FDA for over-the-counter status and FMF is gathering petition signatures in support of their application. The FDA is expected to make its decision by early 2004.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .