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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

June-26-06

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


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