Saturday, January 23, 2016

Tubal Ligation at Issue in Lawsuit

Daily Beast (Jan. 20, 2016): Catholic Hospitals Are Blocking a Basic Form of Contraception, by Brandy Zadrozny:

Many women choose to have their tubes tied as a pregnancy preventative.  Married women may choose this method of sterilization when they have finished growing their families.  They sometimes desire to have this procedure performed at the same time they are in surgery for  a Caesarean section. 

But the belief that tubal ligation is intrinsically evil is a stance assumed by Catholic hospitals in many regions without alternative sources of medical care.  A lawsuit brought by Physicians for Reproductive Health (PHR) against what may be the largest hospital provider in California charges violates of the state's anti-discrimination, business and health and safety laws.  PHR is arguing that the religious refusal places an undue burden on women who have to travel to facilities often far away from where their physician practices or who are forced to submit to two separate surgeries.  The group objects to the intrusion of Catholic doctrine in the doctor-patient relationship. 

According to the ACLU and MergerWatch, the number of Catholic acute-care hospitals in the United States continues to rise.

January 23, 2016 in Contraception | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Symposium on Little Sisters of the Poor

SoctusBlog (Dec. 17, 2015): Symposium: Integrity, Mission, and the Little Sisters of the Poor, by Richard W. Garnett:

The current iteration of the religious-freedom challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s preventive-services mandate (not, as is sometimes suggested, to the act itself) is called Zubik v. Burwell. This is unfortunate. True, the caption choice improves the “optics” for the Obama administration and reduces the likelihood of awkward headlines and embarrassing talking points. However, calling the case – as I will – Little Sisters of the Poor better captures its bizarre core and character. Calling it by this name reminds us that the administration has not reluctantly stumbled into but has instead doggedly pursued a conflict with a religious community of Roman Catholic nuns over whether and how its employees will receive government-mandated, cost-free insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives. Regardless of how the Court rules, that this pursuit appears to have been for the administration a matter not merely of policy but also of principle is extraordinary.

 

January 12, 2016 in Contraception, In the Courts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Attacks on Abortion Ensnare Family Planning and Fetal Tissue Research

RH Reality Check (Jan. 4, 2016): Attacks of Abortion Rights Continued in 2015 Ensnaring Family Planning Funding and Fetal Tissue Research, Rachel Benson Gold and Elizabeth Nash: 

As discussed in previous posts, during the 2015 state legislative session, state legislatures adopted 57 new abortion restrictions.  But the year was also memorable "because the politics of abortion ensnared family planning programs and providers, as well as critical, life-saving fetal tissue research."

At the same time, several states made important advances in 2015 on other sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. Some of the new provisions include measures that allow women to obtain a full year’s worth of prescription contraceptives at one time from a pharmacy, that allow a provider to treat a patient’s partner for an STI without first seeing the patient, that prohibit the use of “conversion therapy” with minors, and that expand access to dating or sexual violence education. 

According to Guttmacher, in 2015, 11 states tried to cut funding for Planned Parenthood to any family family provider that also offers abortion.  This could seriously impact family planning for low income women because Planned Parenthood health centers serve half or more of the women obtaining contraceptive care from safety-net health centers in two-third of the counties where they operate.  Five states tried to exclude Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid program, although these efforts were blocked by federal courts.  Ten states tried to regulate fetal tissue donation and research. 

January 5, 2016 in Contraception, State Legislatures, Stem Cell Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

‘Poderosas’ Seek Salud, Dignidad and Justicia

Cynthia Soohoo

Last week, the Nuestro Texas campaign—a joint project of the Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health—issued a report documenting a women’s human rights hearing held last March in the Rio Grande Valley.  Lately, Texas has made front-page headlines because a challenge to HB 2 a Texas abortion statute is making its way to the Supreme Court.  Abortion access was very much an issue at the hearing, but the testimony made it clear that the human rights problems in the Valley are much broader and deeper.

Continue reading

October 14, 2015 in Contraception, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fear of Parental Disapproval Leads Teens To Forgo Birth Control

CNN: Survey says teens skip birth control because they fear parental judgment, by Kelly Wallace:

Parents, if the following finding doesn't make you sit up and take notice when it comes to talking to your kids about sex and birth control, I'm not sure what will get your attention.

In a recent survey, 68% of teens said they agreed with this statement: The primary reason why they don't use birth control or protection is because they're afraid their parents will find out. . . .

May 8, 2015 in Contraception, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Many Health Insurers Not Complying with Federal Contraception Rule

The New York Times: Insurers Flout Rule Covering Birth Control, Studies Find, by Robert Pear:

Health insurance companies often flout a federal requirement that they cover all approved methods of birth control for women without co-payments or other charges, a major benefit of the Affordable Care Act, two new studies have found.

Responding to the reports, senior Democratic members of Congress prodded the White House on Wednesday to step up enforcement of the requirement. . . .

April 30, 2015 in Congress, Contraception | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Iranian Plan to Boost Population Threatens Reproductive Freedom

The Hill: Iran's War on Women, by Soona Samsami: 

March 8 marked International Women’s Day, a day to reflect on the situation of women throughout the world. With all the talk about Iran’s nuclear program, little attention is being paid to the internal situation, particularly Iran’s ongoing war on women. . . .

The bill itself undermines the reproductive rights of women, and limits access to contraception among other restrictions. The law would block employment at certain jobs for Iranian women who choose not to have children, making it clearly discriminatory and unfair. . . .

The Guardian: Iran aims to ban vasectomies and cut access to contraceptives to boost births, by Saeed Kamali Dehghan: 

Iran is seeking to reverse progressive laws on family planning by outlawing voluntary sterilisation and restricting access to contraceptives, in a move human rights groups say would set Iranian women back decades and reduce them to “baby-making machines”.

The Iranian parliament is considering two separate bills aimed at boosting the population. But Amnesty International warned in a report published on Wednesday that the proposals are misguided and, if approved, would “entrench discriminatory practices” and expose women to health risks. . . . 

March 17, 2015 in Contraception, International, Sterilization | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Anti-Choice Legislators Oppose Successful Colorado Contraception Program by Conflating Birth Control and Abortion

NPR: Colorado Debates Whether IUDs Are Contraception Or Abortion, by Megan Verlee:

A popular contraception program in Colorado is receiving criticism from conservative lawmakers who say that the program's use of intrauterine devices, or IUDs, qualify as abortions.

More than 30,000 women in Colorado have gotten a device because of the state program, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative. An IUD normally costs between $500 and several thousand dollars. Through the program women could receive one for free. . . .

State health director Larry Wolk says that the program has largely been a success. "Our teen birth rate has dropped 40 percent over the last four years," says Wolk. "The decline in teen births has been accompanied by a 34 percent drop in abortions among teens." . . .

_________________________________

Oh dear.  Contraception/abortion conflation strikes again.  Recent research shows that IUDs' primary mechanism is pre-fertilization.  For example, this article from American Family Physician advises:

. . . When discussing the mechanism of IUDs as part of the informed consent process, patients may be told that although prefertilization and postfertilization mechanisms may both contribute to the contraceptive effectiveness of IUDs, research suggests that the majority of effects occur prefertilization. . . .

Moreover, regardless of the mechanism, IUDs don't cause "abortions."  Doctors define pregnancy as beginning at implantation, not before.  That makes sense, especially given that about half of all fertilized eggs never successfully implant.  (You don't see anti-choice advocates lamenting the loss of all of these "persons.")  

-CEB

March 8, 2015 in Abortion, Contraception, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Women Increasingly Embrace Long-Acting, Reversible Contraceptives

The Los Angeles Times: For contraception, U.S. women increasingly turn to IUDs and implants, by Karen Kaplan:

IUDs and implants are safe, reliable, long-acting and reversible forms of birth control. Now there’s a new attribute to add to this list: increasingly popular.

new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that American women are embracing these contraceptive devices. In the last decade, their use has increased nearly five-fold, with 7.2% of women ages 15 to 44 now relying on them to prevent pregnancy. . . .

February 26, 2015 in Contraception | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Colorado Bill Would Provide $5 Million to Continue Free Contraception for Teenagers

The Denver Post: Colorado House committee passes bill providing state money for contraception, by Joey Bunch:

A House committee gave its approval Tuesday to a bill to put state money behind a contraception program that supporters say has been a major contributor to reducing teen pregnancies in Colorado.

The bill would provide $5 million next year to continue to provide free or low-cost intrauterine contraceptive devices, called IUDs, to women ages 15 to 19 years at clinics across the state. . . .

February 24, 2015 in Contraception, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects Challenge by Several Religious Groups to Federal Contraception Rule

Lancaster Online/AP: Court nixes faith-based birth control mandate challenge:

An appeals court has ruled that the birth control coverage required by federal health care reforms does not violate the rights of several religious groups because they can seek reasonable accommodations.

Two western Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses and a private Christian college had challenged the birth control coverage mandates and won lower-court decisions. However, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court ruling Wednesday said the reforms place "no substantial burden" on the religious groups and therefore don't violate their First Amendment rights. . . .

______________________________

The opinion is available here.

February 12, 2015 in Contraception, In the Courts, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pope Affirms Catholic Anti-Contraception Policy While Criticizing "Breeding Like Rabbits"

NPR:  Pope Francis Says Catholics Don't Need To Breed 'Like Rabbits', by Jasmine Garsd:

On his return trip from Asia, Pope Francis made strong statements supporting the church's ban on artificial means of birth control. He also said Catholics should practice "responsible parenthood" and don't have to breed "like rabbits." . . .

Reuters: Pope says birth control ban doesn't mean breed 'like rabbits', by Philip Pullella:

Catholics should not feel they have to breed "like rabbits" because of the Church's ban on contraception, Pope Francis said on Monday, suggesting approved natural family planning methods. . . .

The leader of the 1.2-billion-strong Roman Catholic Church restated its ban on artificial birth control, adding there were "many ways that are allowed" to practise natural family planning. . . .

January 20, 2015 in Contraception, International, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Religious Non-Profits Challenge Exemption to Affordable Care Act's Contraception Rule

The Salt Lake Tribune/AP:  Religious nonprofits challenge birth-control coverage in health law. by Kristen Wyatt:

Faith-based nonprofit organizations that object to covering birth control in their employee health plans are in federal court Monday to challenge a birth-control compromise they say still compels them to violate their religious beliefs.

The plaintiffs include a group of Colorado nuns and four Christian colleges in Oklahoma. They are already exempt from covering contraceptives under the federal health care law.

But they say the exemption doesn’t go far enough because they must sign away the coverage to another party, making them feel complicit in providing the contraceptives. . . .

December 8, 2014 in Contraception, In the Courts, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

South Korean Health Ministry Recalls Sexist Ad Promoting Contraception

BBC: South Korea: Contraception poster prompts outcry:

South Korea's government is under fire for a poster promoting contraception use which has been criticised by both men and women, it's reported.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare poster was meant to encourage women to "take responsibility" for using birth control in order to prevent abortions, the Korea Times website reports. It shows a young couple, after what appears to be a successful shopping trip, with the man carrying his partner's pink handbag and clutching several bags. The poster reads: "Although you leave everything to men, don't leave the responsibility for contraception to them."

There was a swift backlash from social media users . . . .

December 8, 2014 in Contraception, International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Phoenix School Board Votes to Remove Pages from Biology Textbook Discussing STDs, Contraception, and Abortion

The New York Times: In Arizona, a Textbook Fuels a Broader Dispute Over Sex Education, by Rick Rojas:

The textbook, the one with the wide-eyed lemur peering off the cover, has been handed out for years to students in honors biology classes at the high schools here, offering lessons on bread-and-butter subjects like mitosis and meiosis, photosynthesis and anatomy.

But now, the school board in this suburb of Phoenix has voted to excise or redact two pages deep inside the book — 544 and 545 — because they discuss sexually transmitted diseases and contraception, including mifepristone, a drug that can be used to prevent or halt a pregnancy. . . .

November 29, 2014 in Abortion, Contraception, Sexuality Education, Sexually Transmitted Disease, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Jonathan Eig, Author of 'The Birth of the Pill,' Interviewed in The New Republic

The New Republic: It's Astounding That We're Still Debating the Pill After 50 Years, by Rebecca Leber:

It wasn't easy to create a birth control pill in an era where contraception, along with abortion, was still illegal in most of the country. In his new book, The Birth of the Pill, veteran journalist Jonathan Eig writes on the history of how four people came together to make oral contraceptives a reality in the 1950s. (Ann Friedman reviewed it for the New Republic here). The creators wouldn't have expected the challenges women still face today to their reproductive rights.I spoke to Eig about this in the context of the contemporary debate on abortion and contraception in America. . . .

October 15, 2014 in Books, Contraception | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Eighth Circuit Hears Arguments in Missouri State Legislator's Challenge to Contraception Rule

St. Louis Public Radio: Legislator Tells Federal Appeals Court Why He Objects To Birth-Control Coverage, by Jo Mannies:

The lawyer for state Rep. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, predicts that his suit against mandated contraceptive coverage will help launch an avalanche of court challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s provision requiring insurance companies to offer such benefits.

But first Wieland needs to persuade a federal appeals court to reinstate his case. A lower court had tossed it out. . . .

September 8, 2014 in Contraception, In the Courts, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

GOP Senate Candidates Reluctant to Weigh in on Latest Changes to ACA Contraception Rule

Repub elephantThe Hill: GOP Senate candidates mum on birth control mandate change, by Elise Viebeck:

Republican Senate candidates are staying silent on President Obama's latest changes to the birth control coverage mandate, even as the policy catches flak from the religious right.  

Top GOP hopefuls haven’t weighed in on the issue since Friday, when the administration announced new measures meant to accommodate religious groups and businesses owners who object to their insurance covering birth control. . . . 

August 27, 2014 in Congress, Contraception, Politics, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Updated Regs Governing Exemptions to Contraceptive Rule May Not Satisfy All Religious Objectors

The New HHS Regulations Can’t Win A Zero-Sum Game
The New HHS Regulations Can’t Win A Zero-Sum Game
The New HHS Regulations Can’t Win A Zero-Sum Game

Gender & Sexuality Law Blog, The New HHS Regulations Can’t Win A Zero-Sum Game, by Kara Loewentheil:

Yesterday the Obama Administration released the long-awaited updates to the regulations that govern the availability of an accommodation for religious objectors to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement. They came in two parts:

1. A final interim regulation that allows objecting religiously-affiliated organizations who decline to fill out the original form required for an exemption to instead notify the government in writing that they object and to provide the government the contact information for their insurance company or third-party insurer. . . .

What I want to draw attention to in this post is the fact that none of these accommodations will satisfy the objectors who seem to believe that any type of notification to the government makes them impermissibly complicit in what they believe to be a sin. . . .

What I want to draw attention to in this post is the fact that none of these accommodations will satisfy the objectors who seem to believe that any type of notification to the government makes them impermissibly complicit in what they believe to be a sin. - See more at: http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/genderandsexualitylawblog/2014/08/23/the-new-hhs-regulations-cant-win-in-a-zero-sum-game/#sthash.HUe39HE8.dpuf

Yesterday the Obama Administration released the long-awaited updates to the regulations that govern the availability of an accommodation for religious objectors to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement. They came in two parts:

1. A final interim regulation that allows objecting religiously-affiliated organizations who decline to fill out the original form required for an exemption to instead notify the government in writing that they object and to provide the government the contact information for their insurance company or third-party insurer.

- See more at: http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/genderandsexualitylawblog/2014/08/23/the-new-hhs-regulations-cant-win-in-a-zero-sum-game/#sthash.HUe39HE8.dpuf

Yesterday the Obama Administration released the long-awaited updates to the regulations that govern the availability of an accommodation for religious objectors to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement. They came in two parts:

1. A final interim regulation that allows objecting religiously-affiliated organizations who decline to fill out the original form required for an exemption to instead notify the government in writing that they object and to provide the government the contact information for their insurance company or third-party insurer.

- See more at: http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/genderandsexualitylawblog/2014/08/23/the-new-hhs-regulations-cant-win-in-a-zero-sum-game/#sthash.HUe39HE8.dpuf

Yesterday the Obama Administration released the long-awaited updates to the regulations that govern the availability of an accommodation for religious objectors to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement. They came in two parts:

1. A final interim regulation that allows objecting religiously-affiliated organizations who decline to fill out the original form required for an exemption to instead notify the government in writing that they object and to provide the government the contact information for their insurance company or third-party insurer.

- See more at: http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/genderandsexualitylawblog/2014/08/23/the-new-hhs-regulations-cant-win-in-a-zero-sum-game/#sthash.HUe39HE8.dpuf

August 26, 2014 in Contraception, President/Executive Branch, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Iran's Parliament Votes to Ban Permanent Forms of Contraception

The Guardian: Iran bans permanent contraception to boost population growth

Parliament prohibits vasectomies and other lasting birth control measures after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls for more babies

Iran's parliament has voted to ban permanent forms of contraception, the state news agency IRNA reported, endorsing the supreme leaderAyatollah Ali Khamenei's call for more babies to be born.

The bill, banning vasectomies and similar procedures in women, is parliament's response to a decree Khamenei issued in May to increase the population to "strengthen national identity" and counter "undesirable aspects of western lifestyles".

Doctors who violate the ban will be punished, the IRNA reported. . . .

August 11, 2014 in Contraception, International, Sterilization | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)