Amendment Introduced to Facilitate Over-the-Counter EC
An amendment to the agricultural appropriations bill (HR 4766) that would facilitate over-the-counter (OTC) status to emergency contraception was introduced today by Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Henry Waxman (D-CA). The amendment states that the FDA cannot withhold a drug from OTC use if it finds that drug to be safe and effective for OTC use. The FDA was advised by its expert panels to approve emergency contraception for OTC status last year as a safe and effective drug, yet it decided to deny this status for Plan B emergency contraception.
In introducing her amendment, Rep. Maloney argued that the FDA’s decision to deny OTC status to emergency contraception was the result of “politics and ideology [influencing] science, endangering the reputation of the FDA and having a direct and irreversible effect on the health and well-being of thousands of women.” Medical research has overwhelmingly demonstrated the safety, efficacy, and need for emergency contraception over-the-counter. Emergency contraception meets all FDA standards for OTC status: it is ‘safe and effective, not associated with any serious or harmful side effects, easily self-administered, and requires no need for medical supervision.’
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. . . .