Students Protest Pharmacist's Refusal to Give Rape Survivor EC
More than 70 students, community members, and local politicians held a demonstration outside of Fry's Food and Drug Store in Tucson, Arizona, yesterday to protest its refusal to fill a rape survivor's prescription for emergency contraception (EC). The 20-year-old unnamed woman and a friend told the Arizona Daily Star that they tried calling “nearly 50” pharmacies before they found one that stocked EC, but then the Fry’s pharmacist on duty by the time they could get there would not fill the prescription on so-called religious and moral grounds.
“I was so shocked,” the unnamed woman told the Star. “I just did not understand how they could legally refuse to do this … I just don’t think this should be the pharmacist’s decision.” The two women said that the Fry’s manager on duty said he would fill the prescription if they could get there within ten minutes before his shift ended, which was unfeasible, but offered no referral to another pharmacy, as required by Fry’s corporate policy, the Star reports. A Fry’s spokeswoman told the Star that the manager did offer to make a referral.
The protest was led by the Network of Feminist Student Activists, a student group at the University of Arizona affiliated with the Feminist Majority Foundation. The protest was co-sponsored by Students for Choice, University of Arizona’s Women’s Studies Department, Wingspan (Southern Arizona’s LGBT Community Center), Refuse and Resist Tucson, National Lawyers Guild U of A chapter, CODEPINK Tucson, and the Feminist Majority Foundation.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .