A Year Later, Bush Announces His Support of Contraception
Nearly a year after the President was asked his stance on birth control, the Department of Health and Human Services answered on behalf of President Bush in a letter to Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and other members of Congress. In the letter, Assistant Secretary of Health John O. Agwunobi wrote that “This Administration supports the availability of safe and effective products and services to assist responsible adults in making decisions about preventing or delaying conception.”
Maloney and as many as 42 other members of Congress had sent five letters asking the President to clarify his stance on birth control, and Birth Control Watch was formed to track the progress of questions about the Administration’s stance on contraception. Last week, Maloney sent a subsequent letter asking that he make policies that protect women’s access to contraception, including: require Justice Department documents to include offering emergency contraception to rape victims; push the Food and Drug Administration to approve the emergency contraceptive Plan B; and intervene in the phenomenon of pharmacists refusing to fill emergency contraception and birth control prescriptions.
“I’ll still never understand why it took a year to respond to this easy question, but I hope the president will now work to stop the attack on access to birth control. As the Leader of the Free World, President Bush is in a unique position to do that,” said Maloney.
Media Resources: Birth Control Watch, 6/23/06; Feminist Daily News 12/14/05; Letter from Assistant Secretary Agwunobi, 5/26/06; Letter from Representative Maloney, 6/22/06
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. . . .