Hot New Stories (7/1/15)

Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis, IN)
“The nation’s family planning program, Title X, is at risk of being eliminated, under a funding proposal released in the U.S. House of Representatives. This harmful measure would have a devastating impact on the nearly 4.6 million Americans across the country… It is shortsighted to cut federal support in an area that can deliver a major return on investment.”
CBS News (USA)
Reproductive clinic owners cheered a move by the U.S. Supreme Court to temporarily block part of a Texas law that would have closed more than half the state’s 19 remaining family planning clinics that offer abortion services. Now they are studying whether it could also allow them to reopen some previously shuttered facilities and whether that would even be feasible.

USA Today (USA)
One day before it was scheduled to take effect, a Florida judge blocked a new anti-choice state law that requires women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion.

RH Reality Check (USA)
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday temporarily pushed back efforts by religiously affiliated nonprofits to block their employees from accessing contraception insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Oregon State Legislature passes bill allowing pharmacists to provide birth control

June 24th marked an important day for Oregon women. HB 2879, a pro-choice bill that allows women to receive birth control without a prescription from a doctor, was passed by both the Oregon State Senate and the Oregon State House of Representatives. The bill is headed to Governor Kate Bell’s desk to be signed into law.

Under HB 2879, an idea developed by Republican Representative Knute Buehler, women will be allowed to skip the doctor’s visit and head straight to the pharmacy for contraceptives. Buehler supports his idea by stating “it makes no sense that men should have unrestricted access to contraceptives, while women must first get a prescription from their physician. As a doctor, I believe birth control should be as easy and accessible as possible.” The bill includes some provisions that require women to take a risk assessment survey before receiving their prescription and girls under 18 will still have to see a doctor first, however, refills of the initial prescription can be filled by the pharmacist. The bill demonstrates a realistic and positive approach to birth control that can provide women with accessible care if and when they need it.

Oregon will be the second state after California to increase women’s access to contraceptives in this way. However, California has yet to fully develop the rules and regulations of their expanded contraceptive services, leaving Oregon the opportunity to create a foundation and be the first state to implement such a policy.

Hot News Stories (6/30/15)

Fox News (USA)
The Supreme Court acted Monday to keep Texas’ 19 reproductive health clinics that offer abortion services open, amid a legal fight that threatens to close more than half of them.

New York Times (New York, NY)
The Supreme Court issued an order on Monday that allows certain nonprofit religious groups to avoid compliance with federal rules concerning insurance coverage of contraceptives for women.

KOIN News (Salem, OR)
A pro-choice bill granting pharmacists the power to prescribe hormonal birth control has cleared both the Oregon House and Senate and is headed to the Governor’s desk for a signature.

Military Times (USA)
House and Senate lawmakers hashing out a compromise on their respective defense policy bills will mull over several military health provisions including access to birth control for service women as they finalize the legislation.

U.S. Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Texas Anti-Choice Legislation

Breaking news this afternoon as the U.S. Supreme Court decided to temporarily block an anti-choice Texas state law that would have forced nearly all of the remaining family planning clinics that offer abortion services to close. Earlier this June, a federal appeals court in Texas upheld anti-choice legislation that targeted reproductive health clinics with regulations normally reserved for large full-scale hospitals including admitting privilege requirements and a multitude of unnecessary upgrades like minimum hallway and room sizes, a quota for water fountains and parking spaces. Because smaller scale clinics do not provide the same services as hospitals and common abortion procedures do not require large scale surgery centers, most reproductive health clinics that offer the procedure do not have the space or the budget to accommodate the requirements. These forced clinic closures have already left hundreds of thousands of Texas women without access to the preventive health services that were offered by these clinics including provision of contraception, STI testing and cancer screenings.

These regulations were set to go into effect on July 1st, and could have shuttered the doors of at least half of the approximate 20 affected clinics.  The high court ruled 5-4 to block the law until a decision is made whether they will hear the full case, which will likely be decided in the fall of 2015.

Hot News Stories (6/29/15)

Ohio Sun Herald (Columbus, OH)
Health officials have denied an Ohio reproductive health clinic’s request for an exception to anti-choice rules requiring it to have a patient-transfer agreement with a hospital, despite the fact that hospitals are required to take patients in emergencies.

ABC News Local (Nashville, TN)
Two Tennessee reproductive health clinics that offer abortion services will not have to shut down on July 1 after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order.

Breitbart News (New York, NY)
A district judge in Kansas blocked the state’s ban on a safe abortion procedure that is being called “dismemberment abortion” by opponents in order to stigmatize the procedure. The judge argued prohibiting the procedure would create an “obstacle” for women who want to terminate their pregnancies with brutal dismemberment.


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