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Birth Control

March 28, 2012 | By Karin Klein
In 1957, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first birth-control pills, it wasn't for birth control. The contraceptives won approval as a treatment for severe menstrual disorders; temporary infertility was a side effect. Funny, women across the country suddenly started complaining in droves about severe menstrual disorders. As religiously-affiliated organizations, such as Catholic hospitals and universities, continue to complain about federal policies that would require that health insurance cover family planning (President Obama worked out a compromise deal under which the insurance companies would absorb the cost, but the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops still sees this as undue interference)
January 30, 2014 | By Robin Abcarian
Leave it to the brilliant Malcolm Potts to explain why the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Colorado nuns who recently won an interim U.S. Supreme Court victory , are hurting themselves, not just their female employees, by claiming that they should be exempt from offering contraceptive coverage with their healthcare benefits. Potts, a UC Berkeley public health professor who is an obstetrician and embryologist, is a celebrity in international reproductive health circles. For decades he has pioneered advances in women's reproductive health, particularly in the developing world.
February 7, 2013
Re "New plan for birth-control coverage," Feb. 2 If men want to make it difficult for women to prevent pregnancy, it's only fair that they make it difficult for men to cause it. One could hope the men of Roman Catholic or Republican persuasion would strive for equality and insist that Viagra and similar medications be treated the same as they want contraceptives treated - that is, not covered by insurance. Tom Egan Costa Mesa ALSO: Letters: Keep on dancing Letters: Jail isn't for the mentally ill Letters: The GOP's sudden conversion
January 3, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Obama administration lawyers strongly urged Justice Sonia Sotomayor and her fellow Supreme Court members to drop an appeal from the Little Sisters of the Poor and other Catholic groups who object to the so-called contraceptive mandate in the new healthcare law. Nonprofit religious charities already can opt out of the requirement to pay for insurance coverage for contraceptives and therefore have nothing to complain about, U.S. Solicitor...
March 6, 2012 | Jonah Goldberg
In 1984, Mario Cuomo pioneered the argument that one may be "personally opposed" to abortion while supporting abortion rights. Ever since, this convenient locution has become a staple for countless Democratic politicians, particularly Roman Catholic ones. Cuomo's argument was a mess. For instance, in order to buttress his argument he touted the (alleged) refusal of American Catholic bishops to forcefully denounce slavery. The bishops "weren't hypocrites; they were realists," Cuomo explained.
January 19, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Teen pregnancy rates in the United States have fallen in recent years, but the country still has a higher rate than any other developed country, according to data released Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Battles over how to best prevent teen pregnancy may be to blame for the continued high rate in the United States. Abstinence-only programs are favored in some areas while education and improved access to contraception are supported in others. The most recent controversy stemmed from the federal government's refusal in December to allow emergency contraceptive pills to be sold over-the-counter to girls age 16 and younger.
October 17, 1991
Everybody in favor of birth control has already been born! HAROLD GOULD Los Angeles
July 21, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Using hormonally based birth control nearly doubles the risk an uninfected woman will contract HIV or that an infected woman will transmit the virus to her partner, researchers said Wednesday. Researchers had suspected such a link in the past, but the new study in Africa is the first to confirm their suspicions. Dr. Renee Heffron of the University of Washington and her colleagues studied nearly 2,500 HIV-positive women in seven African countries -- Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa -- from 2004 to 2010.
November 26, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear another legal challenge to President Obama's healthcare law, this time to decide whether a corporation can refuse to pay to cover birth control drugs that violate the religious beliefs of the firm's owners. At issue is a growing clash between some Christian employers who object to some contraceptives they consider “abortion-inducing” and potentially millions of female workers who can benefit from free birth control. The case also calls on the court to decide whether corporations have religious rights similar to the free-speech rights that were upheld in the Citizens United decision in 2010.
September 19, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration set the stage Thursday for another Supreme Court showdown on the president's healthcare law, this time to decide whether for-profit companies can be forced to provide full contraceptive coverage for their employees despite religious objections from their owners. The administration's lawyers asked the justices to take up the issue this fall to decide whether these corporations can claim a religious exemption to this part of the healthcare law. U.S. Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr. called the issue one of "exceptional importance" that needs to be resolved soon.
September 5, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey, Washington Bureau
The Obama administration, trying to defuse one of the most contentious issues in its healthcare law, proposed Friday a new way to shield religiously affiliated organizations, such as hospitals and universities, from having to provide contraceptive coverage directly to their employees. Instead, the employees would obtain coverage through a separate, private insurance policy at no cost. The proposed rule also reaffirms that churches and other houses of worship themselves are exempt from the contraceptive mandate in Obama's healthcare overhaul, and makes it easier for institutions to show that they qualify for the exemption.
May 31, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
A self-described "loud-mouthed Irish priest" ("And may they carve it on my gravestone!" he once quipped), the Rev. Andrew M. Greeley rejected a conventional definition of his vocation. Denied a parish, the Roman Catholic priest created his own pulpits as a sociologist whose groundbreaking research corrected misimpressions of American Roman Catholics and as a bestselling novelist whose works - "The Cardinal Sins," "Thy Brother's Wife" and more than 50 other titles - made readers blush and church superiors fume.
May 20, 2013 | By Meg Waite Clayton
In the uproar about making the morning-after contraceptive known as Plan B available to our daughters, there has been no similar outcry about condoms and our sons. Anyone of any age can walk into a drugstore - as well as most grocery and big-box stores - and buy condoms. If you want to remain anonymous, you can pay cash; no ID is required. If you're too embarrassed to face the checkout clerk, use the self-check aisle or, for $17.97, get a box of 100 - flavored or with "added sensations," even - delivered to your door in a plain brown box. President Obama has suggested that restrictions on making Plan B available to younger girls are justifiable because we can't be confident that a younger girl in a drugstore "should be able - alongside bubble gum or batteries … to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could end up having an adverse effect.
May 1, 2013 | By Monte Morin
The U.S. attorney's office announced late Wednesday that it would appeal a federal judge's decision to make Plan B One-Step and related emergency birth control pills available to consumers of all ages without a prescription. In papers filed with the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, government lawyers have asked that the court overturn an order by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman. They have also requested that Korman stay his order until the appeal is resolved. Korman, who has harshly criticized government health officials for their handling of the so-called morning after pill, ordered that all levonorgestrel-based emergency contraceptives like Plan B One-Step be made available, over the counter, beginning next Monday.
March 14, 2013 | By David Horsey
For the first time in history, the Roman Catholic Church has a pope from the New World, but liberal American Catholics should not expect Pope Francis to stray far from the old theology. Some things are excitingly different about this new pontiff. On matters of birth control, abortion, homosexuality, celibate priests and the role of women in the church, however, he is no revolutionary. When Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio stepped out on the Vatican balcony as the new pope on Wednesday evening, all he was required to do was wave and give a blessing.
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