Massachusetts May Soon Have Pharmacy Access to Emergency Contraception
This week, the Massachusetts House and Senate both overwhelmingly approved legislation to make emergency contraception available from pharmacists without prescriptions and to require hospitals to offer it to rape victims. Following a final procedural vote in the Senate, expected next week, the bill will move to the desk of Governor Mitt Romney (R).
Although Romney indicated support for emergency contraception during his 2002 campaign, he has not taken a position on this legislation, prompting speculation that he is attempting to move right on choice issues in advance of a possible presidential campaign, reports the Associated Press. Nonetheless, the bill seems likely to become law for Massachusetts. Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey (R) has expressed her support for the bill, and should it come up for approval during the Governor’s vacation would be able and willing to sign it into law, according to the MetroWest Daily News. Furthermore, the final version passed with the support of more than two-thirds of legislators, enough to override Romney’s possible veto.
A provision to allow individuals at religious hospitals to opt out of providing emergency contraception was removed from this final version. State Rep. Peter Koutoujian (D-Waltham) said, “The geography of a sexual assault or a rape should not determine whether a woman has access to emergency contraception,” reports MetroWest Daily News.
7/29/2014 Extensive Female Genital Mutilation Study To Be Conducted in the US - The Obama administration plans to conduct a large study on female genital mutilation (FGM) to try to assess how many girls and women in the US are at risk, and how many have already experienced, FGM.
According to experts, FGM tends to take place during summer break when parents take their daughter outside of the country for the practice.
Jaha Dukureh, a 24-year-old woman who grew up in Gambia, experienced FGM there, and then child marriage in the US, started a petition that gained more than 220,000 supporters. . . .