Massachusetts Wal-Marts Must Stock Emergency Contraception
Tuesday, the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy unanimously decided to require Wal-Marts in the state to stock emergency contraception (EC), making it the second state where women can fill EC prescriptions at the retail giant. Illinois already had a state law requiring pharmacies that stock any form of contraception to also stock EC. Wal-Mart spokesperson Dan Fogelman said that the retailer would review its stance on EC on a national basis as well, telling the Boston Globe that "We are actively thinking through this issue."
The decision came mere weeks after three women sued Wal-Mart for violating state policies that pharmacies stock all "commonly prescribed medications." Plaintiff Dr. Rebekah Gee told the Associated Press "I'm proud to be able to tell my patients that they now can go anywhere for their prescriptions." Furthermore, one of the women's lawyers, Sam Perkins, announced his willingness to file similar suits in other states and push Wal-Mart to stock EC around the country. Planned Parenthood interim president Karen Pearl praised the decision in a statement, saying "No woman should be put at risk for unintended pregnancy. We urge Wal-Mart to reverse its longstanding policy and make EC available in all stores nationwide."
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .