Women's Health Base

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Posts Tagged ‘morning-after pill’

Seven states to sue over ‘conscience rule’

Posted by hannahflynn on January 19, 2009

Just days before Barack comes to save us all (most importantly women according to the National Women’s Law Centre) it has been announced that seven states, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the American Civil Liberties Union are suing as the ‘conscience rule’ clashes with state laws.

In Connecticut state law requires all hospitals in the state to provide emergency contraception to rape victims. Not asking much you may think, but dispensers who claim providing the morning-after-pill goes against their conscience can refuse to prescribe it.

“This rule protects the right of medical providers to care for their patients in accord with their conscience,” HHS Secretary Michael O. Leavitt said when the final rule was announced.

The ‘conscience rule’ should come into force tommorow the day of Barack Obama’s inaugration, and he has voiced opposition to the amendment.

However, opposition has been venomous since the 11th hour amendment was announced last month, seen by many as a last, unwelcome push by the on-the-way-out Bush administration.

Commentators also predict the ruling will affect poor women the most.  

It allows funding to be cut to hospitals where individuals are coerced into providing the morning-after-pill, known in the United States as Plan B, against their conscience.


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Twas the morning after Christmas…

Posted by hannahflynn on December 26, 2008

Groggily waking up on Boxing day, our minds are cast back to the day of indulgence before. But it’s not just greed that may have overcome us over the Christmas season. If we look at the abortion stats for last year, our overweight, clap-ridden nation has spent the season of giving getting, well…pregnant.

A month ago it was announced by the British Pregnancy Advisory Committee the morning-after-pill should be given to women before the Christmas and new year period to ensure it was available when pharmacies and surgeries are closed. The announcement caused the usual furore amongst conservative types who insisted it would encourage promiscuity. My favourite being the complaints over the advertisement for it.

Then, just a few days before Christmas, Obama’s own state has seen a ruling passed that allows pharmacists who’s beliefs prevent them from dispensing the morning-after-pill (in the United States ‘Plan B’) to be exempt from providing it. Draughted in just weeks before Bush must step down, the decision is expected to be blocked by the Obama administration, but the supreme court ruling does pose a few questions for the incoming scientifically literate administration.

One of those questions is the far broader question of just how effective is the morning-after-pill? Many are looking at the way it is currently used and are saying, not very.

Use of the morning-after-pill has increased greatly over the past couple of years, but abortion rates have gone up. The BMJ reported just over a year ago this was because women were unaware of when they were at risk of pregnancy. This was also the case when women had supplies of emergency contraception at home and so opening times of surgeries and  pharmacies were not a limiting factor. Anna Glasier who wrote in the BMJ said, “If you are looking for an intervention that will reduce abortion rates, emergency contraception may not be the solution and perhaps you should concentrate most on encouraging people to use contraception before or during sex, not after it.”

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