SD: Committee Rejects Requiring Emergency Contraception for Rape Victims
The South Dakota House Health Committee on Monday rejected 11-1 a proposal to require hospitals to offer rape survivors emergency contraception. "Little else can compound the already immense trauma of rape than facing the possibility of bearing the rapist's child," testified Shirley Adelstein, the granddaughter of the prime sponsor of the bill, according to the Associated Press. Opponents of the bill claimed that it would require religious hospitals to provide medical treatment that goes against their "moral" beliefs.
Meanwhile, the New York State Assembly on Monday passed a bill allowing emergency contraception (EC) to be distributed without a prescription. The Democratic-controlled Assembly was able to pass this measure last year as well, only to see it blocked by the Republican-controlled State Senate.
The Food and Drug Administration is currently considering whether to allow Plan B, a brand of emergency contraception, to be sold over the counter nationwide. If the FDA allows the labeling change, permitting over-the-counter sale, the New York bill will be moot. The FDA decision is expected February 20. While two expert advisory panels convened in December 2003 and unequivocally recommended over-the-counter sale without restrictions in a 23-4 vote, the FDA is receiving intense and mounting pressure from anti-reproductive rights legislators on Capitol Hill to prevent restriction-free over-the-counter sale of EC.
"In concert with the medical and public health organizations, we must take action and voice our position again and again and again to the FDA before anti-reproductive rights activists take this breakthrough drug away from responsible women seeking to avoid unintended pregnancy," said Dr. Beth Jordan, Medical Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
7/1/2015 Women's Rights Activists are Suing the Kenyan Government for Reproductive Rights - A woman in Kenya is suing the Kenyan government for failure to provide safe and legal abortions, which caused her daughter - a 15-year-old rape victim - to suffer a kidney failure after undergoing the procedure illegally.
Currently, there are four petitioners on the case: the mother of the survivor, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, and two other women's rights advocates. . . .
6/30/2015 Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Gerrymandering in Arizona - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Ginsburg this morning, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, allowing the use of independent state commissions that draw federal congressional districts, taking that power away from the state legislature.
This gives states an opportunity to deal with partisan gerrymandering by giving an independent commission power to draw federal congressional districts.
In 2000, Arizona voters amended their constitution, shifting the responsibility of drawing congressional districts, previously held by the state legislature, to a panel called the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. . . .