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Birth Control

June 26, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
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.
June 5, 2012 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
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 | By Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times
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 | By Ashley Powers
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.
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)
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.
March 1, 2012 | By Michael Finnegan and Paul West, Los Angeles Times and Washington Bureau
The clash among Republican presidential candidates over social issues shifted Thursday to the Deep South as Rick Santorum tried to undercut rival Newt Gingrich's support among conservative evangelicals in Georgia, a must-win state for the former House speaker. Santorum also tore into front-runner Mitt Romney over his latest remarks on birth control. The rhetorical assault on his two leading opponents was part of the former Pennsylvania senator's full-bore "family values" pitch to Republicans at two stops in northern Georgia, the state that will deliver the biggest cache of delegates during a nationwide flurry of contests Tuesday.
March 1, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau
Senate Republicans, who narrowly lost a bid to roll back new federal insurance rules requiring contraceptive coverage, were decidedly circumspect after being portrayed by Democrats as trying to interfere with women's health options. "I don't have anything else to say," said Sen. John McCain(R-Ariz.), after the GOP's effort Thursday to curb the rule failed 51 to 48. Other Republicans were only a bit more talkative, and they quickly shifted their remarks to the other issues - jobs and the economy - suggesting that the contraception fight may have waning appeal for the GOP. "It was a good vote, but we do need to be focused on some of these debt issues - they're just huge," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)
February 28, 2012 | By Michelle Andrews, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In the heated debate over to what extent religiously affiliated employers should be required to provide free contraception for workers, no one has talked much about what methods are available to women who want to prevent pregnancy and how their choices might change if cost were removed from the equation. But it's an important subject. With prices ranging from about $1 for a condom to more than $800 for an intrauterine device (IUD), some of these women - maybe a lot of them - might switch methods if they could afford to. That's exactly what manywomen's healthadvocates hope.
February 16, 2012 | By Kim Geiger
A wealthy backer of GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum left his interviewer scratching her head Thursday when he suggested that in the olden days, birth control was less expensive because women just squeezed an aspirin between their knees to prevent them from having sex. Foster Friess, the retired mutual fund executive from Wyoming who has been basking in the spotlight recently thanks to his six-figure donations to a 'super PAC' backing Santorum,...
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