December 18, 2012 |
MANILA - Ignoring the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines' warning that "contraception corrupts the soul," the Philippine Congress on Monday passed a sweeping bill that would provide birth control to millions of poor women. The historic votes, with bishops and nuns sitting glumly in the gallery, came after the Catholic hierarchy and its political supporters had thwarted the legislation's passage for more than 14 years. The measure, which President Benigno Aquino III has pledged to sign, would override the de facto ban on contraceptives in Manila's public health clinics, make sex education mandatory in public schools and require hospitals to provide postabortion care, even though abortions will remain illegal.
November 20, 2012 |
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a call Tuesday for birth control pills to be sold over the counter. Currently oral contraceptives are available only with a doctor's prescription. In a policy statement, the organization argues that making birth control pills easier to get will translate into fewer unwanted pregnancies. These unplanned pregnancies remain a major problem in the United States, they write, accounting for approximately 50% of all pregnancies.
November 2, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - It was just a few days after the Obama administration announced its groundbreaking decision to require employers providing health insurance to cover contraception, and a controversy was flaring. Roman Catholic bishops were vowing to fight an "unconscionable" mandate. Catholic hospitals and even some Catholic Democrats were assailing President Obama, saying he was trampling on religious freedom. Obama, as angry as his senior aides had ever seen him, summoned them to the Oval Office.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 23, 2012 |
Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed 25 health-related bills, including controversial legislation that extends for two years a study program that allows non-surgical abortions to be performed by a limited number of nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants. Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) introduced SB 623 to expand access to abortion for women, especially in rural areas where physicians are not as available. The bill was supported by Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and the American Civil Liberties Union of California, which argued that many women do not have enough access to early, safe abortions because of the limited number of physicians performing the procedure.
August 16, 2012 |
Ever wonder why there's no birth control pill for men? For starters, it's a math problem: To stop a woman from getting pregnant, all you have to do is block a single egg each month. But a man produces millions of sperm each day -- about 1,000 every time his heart beats. Blocking them all is a much bigger task. This helps explain why no one has come up with a reversible form of birth control for men since the condom was introduced centuries ago. (The first unambiguous description of the prophylactic's use appears in a 1564 writing called "De Morbo Gallico," which describes a syphilis outbreak in Europe that began in France in the 1490s.)
July 31, 2012
Several Roman Catholic organizations have challenged Obama administration rules requiring religious colleges and hospitals (but not churches themselves) to offer preventive healthcare, including contraceptive coverage, with no deductibles or co-pays. Even though the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of most of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), the courts still have to decide whether those institutions are exempt from the contraception requirement under a federal law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Our view is that church-affiliated charitable and educational institutions should offer such coverage, even if they are self-insured.
June 26, 2012 |
A birth control gel for men sharply lowered sperm counts with few side effects, researchers reported Tuesday. The gel, containing testosterone and a synthetic progestin called Nestorone, will require substantially more testing, but it has the potential to become the first effective chemical birth control agent for males. The male hormone testosterone can turn off the production of reproductive hormones controlling the production of sperm. Progestin, a synthetic hormone similar to the naturally occurring hormone progesterone, can amplify the effects of testosterone.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 2012 |
The first time the 16-year-old student visited Roosevelt High School's health clinic, she needed emergency contraception. This time, she wanted regular birth control. "I don't want to be pregnant," she said while at the clinic. "I'm too young. I can't take care of a baby. " Throughout the school year, students visit the on-campus clinic to get birth control, pregnancy tests, counseling and screening for sexually transmitted diseases. The services, which are free and confidential, are offered through a unique collaboration between Planned Parenthood and the Los Angeles Unified School District designed to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies among teenagers at the Boyle Heights high school.
April 2, 2012 |
MILWAUKEE - The shape of a general election battle between Mitt Romney and President Obama came into sharper focus Sunday as Vice President Joe Biden led an administration assault on the potential Republican nominee. Biden took on Romney across a wide array of topics in a television interview, describing him as out of touch with the middle class and out of his depth on foreign affairs. And in a rare break from her retreat from partisan politics, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Romney's perspective on Russia "somewhat dated.
March 29, 2012 |
The Arizona state Senate has rejected a controversial bill that would have allowed employers to refuse to offer birth control coverage if it conflicted with their moral or religious beliefs. The proposal had become entangled in a rancorous national debate over women's healthcare and religious freedom. Under the bill, employers still would have been required to cover birth control used for purposes other than contraception, such as treating acne. Opponents said that would have required women who wanted birth control to tell their employers why, thereby violating their privacy, the Associated Press reported . Supporters of the bill maintained that women only would have to share such information with their insurers, but retooled the proposal before Wednesday's vote.