Amendment to Facilitate Over-the-Counter EC Passes
An amendment to the agricultural appropriations bill (HR 4766) that would facilitate over-the-counter (OTC) status to emergency contraception passed on Tuesday in the House of Representatives by unanimous consent. The amendment, introduced by Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Henry Waxman (D-CA), 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.
“It became evident when the FDA turned its back on its own scientific panel to deny over-the-counter status for the morning-after pill that we needed to reaffirm our position that science, not interest groups, should direct the FDA,” said Rep. Maloney in a press statement.
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.’
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .