No, I did not get that diagnosis wrong. Family Planning Services in Wausau does not offer abortion services. In fact, they are forbidden by the terms of their state grants from even referring a woman to an abortion provider. (Remind me to do a column about that little piece of injustice sometime.) What FPHS does, is help pregnant women of low to moderate means to have healthy babies. They educate young people about contraception and STDs. They help women (and men) avoid pregnancies that would end in abortions. Their WIC program gets fresh vegetables and fruits from local farmers into the diets of mothers and their young children. You would think the Catholics, with their history of community charity, would be holding fundraising Bingo nights and bake sales to help them. But nope, they have opted to go the pageant route instead.
She eventually heard about the birth control pill from neighbors, but did not know how it worked. Moreover, she said she could not afford it.
“Instead of spending money on those, I use it to buy food,” Lopez said.
Her story is a familiar one in a country where 81% of Filipinos are devout Roman Catholic and 30% live below the poverty line, according to the Philippine National Statistics Office.
While contraception is legal, the majority, like Lopez, do not have access or the means to afford birth control. But that could all change.
After 14 years in limbo, a controversial landmark legislation called the Reproductive Health bill could bring major changes in the country of almost 96 million people. The proposed law requires the government to provide contraceptives, information on modern family planning methods at public health centers and comprehensive reproductive health curriculum in schools.
National surveys show 65-70% of Filipinos support the bill, but it faces fierce opposition by the country’s Roman Catholic Church leaders.
CNN) — In the future, women may be able to buy birth control pills alongside ibuprofen and cough drops if the recommendation of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is adopted.
The group is recommending that oral contraceptives be sold over the counter without a prescription in an effort to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in the United States.
Approximately 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned, a rate that hasn’t changed much in the past 20 years, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reproductive health research. Women in their 20s are most at risk.
“Access and cost issues are common reasons why women either do not use contraception use or have gaps in use,” according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
OTC? REALLY!!! Contraception and the Changing Role of Medical Providers in an Over-the-Counter World
Earlier this month, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) put forward a bold position that might seem logical: allow birth control pills to be sold over-the-counter without a prescription. The benefits are obvious. Improve access by removing financial and logistical barriers for women using the pill. No more scheduling doctor’s visits carefully in advance of the last pack of pills running out. No more buying six months at a time to decrease hassles: simply head to the pharmacy when you’re running low and throw the box of pills in with your other casual pharmacy purchases.
There is another reason it was a bold move by ACOG: Besides the fact that it’s unlikely such a thing would come to pass without a fight since it requires approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which is lobbied by religious and conservative anti-contraception groups, a group of physicians is now arguing that we no longer need their services for a specific health intervention. As CNN quoted Dr. Daniel Grossman on the decision: “‘It is a pretty bold move on the part of ACOG,’ he said. ‘I really respect that the organization decided to make this statement after reviewing all the evidence. It’s not very common where you hear a physician organization say, ‘We think there should be a change so that our patients don’t have to see us anymore.’ “
This is the change that is likely to have the biggest impact on women’s health overall if birth control does eventually go over the counter. Improved access to those contraceptives will indeed result, but I think it will mark a bigger change in how we interact with providers, particularly in the arena of women’s health and gynecology.
Obviously not everyone uses birth control pills to begin with—so this might not change a thing for those people who either use other birth control methods (IUD, Depo shots, condoms, etc) or who are not concerned with pregnancy prevention (queer people, the post-menopausal, etc). But according to the Guttmacher Institute, an estimated 11.2 million U.S. women ages 15 to 44, or 18 percent of all women, currently use oral contraceptive pills. That’s 11 million women who now will have one less reason to visit their medical provider on an annual basis. Coupled with new recommendations steering us away from annual pap smears, we’re heading into an era that might actually indicate less frequent visits to our gynecologists.
Ironically, the singling out of Planned Parenthood for special treatment by the government is the same sort of complaint Tierney would rally against while acting as an attorney for his clients. In 2010, when fighting zoning conditions the government placed on a local church, Tierney stated, “Disagreement with an organization’s religious or political views should never motivate the government to impose special restrictions upon a church’s building project.” However, when it comes to imposing special restrictions on other organizations because of their political views or the fact that they provide a public health service to low-income women, that’s just fine.
Lisa Biron, N.H. Lawyer With Ties to Conservative Christian Group, Arrested on Child Pornography Charges
(CBS/AP) CONCORD, N.H. - Lisa Biron, a New Hampshire lawyer associated with coalition of Christian lawyers, was arrested on federal child pornography charges after investigators say she took a teenager to Canada where she allegedly convinced the girl to engage in sexual activity and let it be filmed, reports the Concord Monitor.
Biron, 43, was arrested by FBI agents on Nov. 16 and charged with seven counts of child exploitation, including transporting a child for illegal sexual conduct. She was also charged with manufacturing and possessing child pornography.
Biron will be held without bail until her trial, which is scheduled to begin Jan. 8.
Prosecutor Helen Fitzgibbon called for Biron to be held without bond, claiming other juveniles have been subjected to Biron’s sexual activity and drug use. Witnesses have testified to seeing Biron in possession of ecstasy, marijuana and cocaine, according to the Monitor.
‘Crisis Pregnancy Center’ That Makes Parents ‘Earn’ Baby Supplies With Bible Study Seeks Federal Loans
One factor was that Care Net—which, as an affiliate of the national Care Net organization, must certify that its primary mission “is to share the truth and love of Jesus Christ in conjunction with a ministry to those facing pregnancy related issues”—intended to host Bible study and other religious classes in the facility that was to be purchased with the USDA loan.
A second, related issue was that Care Net’s “Learn to Earn” program appeared to be incentivizing religion by requiring that expectant parents take both Bible study classes and parenting classes in order to earn material rewards like baby clothes and furniture.
The USDA’s regulations prohibit its funding from being used for “inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization,” as well for activities where religious participation is not voluntary.
One of the many reasons for voting for Obama is paying off. I don’t want the “drill, baby, drill” GOP party in power which had even apologized to BP because Obama had the temerity to hold BP accountable for their environmental vandalism.
I don’t want these criminally negligent polluters given the people’s contracts to.
EPA suspends BP from new federal contracts in wake of oil spill
By Steven Mufson,
Nov 28, 2012 06:29 PM EST
The Washington Post Published: November 28
The Environmental Protection Agency has suspended BP from bidding on any new federal contracts, including drilling leases, as a result of the company’s conduct during the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in 2010 that led to 11 deaths and the largest U.S. offshore spill.
The temporary ban came early on the day the Interior Department held a sale of leases on 20 million acres of offshore oil and gas prospects in the western Gulf of Mexico that the department said attracted $133 million in bids. People familiar with the process said the company did not submit any bids.
The EPA said the suspension will not affect BP’s current contracts or leases, which are crucial to the company. The London-based oil giant is the largest leaseholder in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, with more than 700 leases, and it is the gulf’s largest producer of oil and gas, from more than 20 fields there. It won 40 new leases in June.
In 2011, BP was also the largest supplier of fuel to the U.S. military, with contracts worth about $1.35 billion.
After the USA took a diplomatic beating and voted against Palestinian limited recognition status in the UN (one of only 9 countries to veto) the Netanyahu far right govt in Israel continues to make it difficult for the USA’s diplomatic efforts in the region and acts in such a way as to limit support for Israel’s policies in regards to the Palestinian question.
30 November 2012 Last updated at 23:55 ET
Hillary Clinton warns Israel on settler homes
The US has criticised Israel’s decision to authorise the construction of 3,000 more housing units in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “these activities set back the cause of a negotiated peace”.
The White House had earlier described the proposal as “counter-productive”.
The Israeli decision followed a UN General Assembly vote to upgrade the Palestinians’ status to non-member observer state.
Thursday’s UN motion was carried by 138 votes to nine with 41 abstentions.
Israel and the US voted against the proposal.
Addressing a Washington audience that included Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Mrs Clinton said the vote “should give all of us pause. All sides need to consider carefully the path ahead”.
The Palestinians had to be persuaded, she said, that negotiations with Israel were the only path to an independent state.
It was in Israel’s interest, she added, to make generous steps towards Palestinians in the West Bank as a bulwark for Israeli security, “whether or not there is a comprehensive agreement in the near future”.