New Study Shows Barriers to Receiving Emergency Contraception
A new study found that 55 percent of Catholic hospitals and 42 percent of non-Catholic hospitals in the United States do not dispense emergency contraception in their emergency departments under any circumstances. The study, conducted by Ibis Reproductive Health and published in the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Annals of Emergency Medicine found that of the non-Catholic facilities, 45 percent said that emergency contraception (EC) was only available to sexual assault survivors, meaning a woman would have to file a policy report in order to receive EC.
Of the Catholic hospitals that provide EC, 79 percent said they only dispense the pills to sexual assault survivors and 19 percent said they require a physician on duty to decide whether to dispense EC. At the time of the study six states had laws requiring hospitals to provide EC, but researches found that 40 percent of hospitals in these states did not provide EC. At non-Catholic hospitals 52 percent and at Catholic hospitals 42 percent of hospitals stating that they do not provide EC gave callers a valid referral to a facility where EC might be obtained. When follow-up calls were made, 80 percent of the referrals given by non-Catholic hospitals and 65 percent given by Catholic hospitals were either the wrong number or to facilities that were closed on weekends.
Teresa Harrison, a project manager at Ibis and study author, said the study findings demonstrate the “importance” of making EC available without a prescription. “The findings from this study illustrate the barriers that women face when trying to access emergency contraception from hospital emergency departments, particularly outside of regular business hours,” said Harrison.
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. . . .
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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. . . .