April 5, 2013 |
President Obama once fretted about the prospect that girls as young as 10 or 11 could walk into a drugstore and buy emergency contraception pills as easily as "bubble gum or batteries. " With his blessing, the Department of Health and Human Services set aside the advice of medical experts and blocked efforts to allow girls younger than 17 to get the so-called morning-after pill without a prescription. That age limit is poised to disappear now that a federal judge has cleared the way Friday for girls - and boys - of any age to purchase the medication without having to notify their parents or a doctor.
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.
January 6, 2011 |
Birth control pills using a 24-day regimen -- 24 days of active pills and four days of inactive pills -- are becoming more popular. A new study suggests that the shorter drug-free interval combined with pills containing drospirenone, a specific type of progestin that tends to remain in the body longer, are better at preventing pregnancy. German researchers examined a database of 52,218 U.S. women using oral contraceptives to look at what types of pills the women were using and the failure rates, meaning that an unintended pregnancy occurred.
March 18, 2011
An estimated 62 million U.S. women are in their childbearing years. Of those, 62% use some kind of contraception. Among those who don't, 31% are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, postpartum, sterile or not sexually active. The other 7% take their chances. Among those using contraceptives, here's what they use: The pill 28% Sterilization 27.1% Condom 16.1% Vasectomy 9.9% IUD 5.5% Withdrawal 5.2% Injectable Depo-Provera 3.2% Vaginal ring 2.4 Rhythm 0.9 Other: 0.6 Statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Guttmacher Institute.
March 18, 2014 |
Are secular, for-profit corporations free to violate the rights of their employees by claiming that the law violates their corporate religious conscience? That's the big question at the heart of the two blockbuster challenges to a key provision of Obamacare that will be heard by the Supreme Court next week. In its 225-year history, the Supreme Court has never held that secular, for-profit corporations are entitled to the free exercise of religion. It should not start now. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood claim in their lawsuits that the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers' health insurance plans cover preventive care for women, including the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives, violates their right to the free exercise of religion.
December 6, 2013 |
Can a business like Hobby Lobby legitimately claim religious freedom in its legal battle against the Affordable Care Act's mandate that insurance plans cover drugs some people believe cause abortions? Notre Dame law professor Richard W. Garnett argued on The Times' Op-Ed page Thursday that Hobby Lobby -- which, he notes, closes its stores on Sundays so its employees can go to church, has Christian music as its stores' background music and doesn't sell shot glasses -- has the beliefs of its owners so embedded in its business practices that requiring it to cover abortifacients would indeed violate its religious freedoms. So far, readers have bristled at Garnett's argument.
March 6, 2012 |
President Obama said that when he called Sandra Fluke to express support after the crude comments of Rush Limbaugh, he did so thinking of his own young daughters. "One of the things I want them to do as they get older is engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on. I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way. And I don't want them attacked or called horrible names because they're being good citizens," he said at a White House news conference Tuesday.
March 28, 2012 |
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)
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.
February 7, 2014
Re "The rights of the religious," Editorial, Feb. 4 The Times rightly defends but wrongly interprets a federal law that forbids the government from imposing "substantial burdens" on the exercise of religious convictions and requires federal officials to pursue the "least restrictive means" of achieving any "compelling interest. " The Times neglects 1st Amendment principles in defending the administration's attempts to force employers with conscientious objections to bow to the government's edict to have employee insurance policies that provide controversial contraceptives.