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Emergency Contraception

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NEWS
October 4, 2007 | By Angela Couloumbis INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
The House of Representatives yesterday postponed voting on a bill that would require hospitals to provide victims of sexual assault with access to emergency contraception. The decision to delay the vote for another two weeks came after more than an hour of emotional debate that was dominated by the bill's supporters, who urged swift approval of the legislation for Pennsylvania, where 25,000 women are raped every year. Still, the majority of representatives wanted to delay a vote on the issue because the state Department of Health is, in a separate effort, attempting to change its regulations on how hospitals distribute emergency contraception.
NEWS
August 10, 2006
A GOOD DEAL of attention has been paid to the mid-state woman who faced problems as she tried to seek care to ensure that she would not become pregnant by her rapist. The coverage is helping to raise awareness to what women face after they are raped. Because not being informed about and given access to emergency contraception is not an uncommon occurrence, several of my colleagues and I have proposed legislation to protect women who are already victims. The CARE Act, or Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies, would empower rape victims to regain control of their lives and decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions in the state.
NEWS
February 14, 2004 | By Marie McCullough INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The government is postponing its decision on whether so-called morning-after pills should be sold without a doctor's prescription, the pill's maker said yesterday. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel in December overwhelmingly recommended that emergency contraception be sold over the counter, and the FDA usually follows such guidance. But the agency has been under intense political pressure from conservative opponents of the rule change. The FDA had been scheduled to decide next week whether Barr Laboratories' version of emergency contraception, called Plan B, could be sold as easily as aspirin and cough medicine.
NEWS
June 2, 2001 | By Betty Jean Wolfe
Accidents don't discriminate. They just happen to people, especially women - or so the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) believes. On April 30, new ACOG president Thomas F. Purdon recommended that the nation's 40,000 ob-gyns begin routinely to offer advance prescriptions for emergency contraception (EC) to women of childbearing age. EC is a combination of high-dose birth control pills that prevents pregnancy if taken within 72 hours. Settings include unprotected sexual intercourse or instances in which use of contraception failed.
NEWS
November 3, 2005
ALISHA was raped in college - and she was terrified of becoming pregnant. As a "fairly devout Catholic," she couldn't imagine having to decide whether to get an abortion on top of dealing with a rape. Luckily, Alisha was told about "emergency contraception" in the student health center, and it was provided to her. Alisha's story appears on raisinghervoice.org, a Web site established recently by the Clara Bell Duvall Project at the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.
NEWS
February 21, 2004
A rape victim walked into a pharmacy in Denton, Texas with a prescription for emergency contraception pills. The pharmacist, because of religious beliefs, refused to fill the prescription. Two other pharmacists also refused to fill it. The woman had to find another pharmacy. The three uncooperative pharmacists were fired. The recent incident, revealed in news accounts, will no doubt feed the country's heated abortion debate. Many will decry the firings of workers who, because of their beliefs, refused to dispense a product they regard as an abortion pill.
NEWS
August 27, 2005 | By Dawn Fallik INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
After two years of deliberation, the Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that it needed 60 more days to consider whether to make emergency contraception available over-the-counter. In a late-afternoon conference, FDA officials said that they were considering allowing it only for those 17 and over and that the main concern was enforcing the age restriction. "The FDA cannot have an inspector in every pharmacy," said Lester Crawford, the FDA commissioner. He said he hoped state pharmacy boards would use the added comment period to suggest ways the agency could enforce an age restriction.
NEWS
September 4, 2000 | By Marie McCullough, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Although emergency contraception is standard treatment for rape victims, some Catholic hospitals do not tell victims about the method unless they ask, according to a survey by University of Pennsylvania researchers. The survey is not the first to look at the confusion and controversy surrounding emergency contraception at Catholic hospitals, but previous surveys were conducted by abortion-rights activists, including Catholics for a Free Choice. Catholic health-system officials said Friday that, while misunderstanding persists, official church policy allows hospitals to discuss emergency contraception with rape victims and, under certain circumstances, provide it. The Penn survey, conducted two years ago and published in the September issue of the American Journal of Public Health, questioned 27 urban Catholic hospitals nationwide and found that 12 of them had rules against informing rape victims about emergency contraception.
NEWS
December 31, 2004 | By Marie McCullough INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The U.S. Department of Justice has issued its first-ever medical guidelines for treating sexual-assault victims - without any mention of emergency contraception, the standard precaution against pregnancy after rape. The omission of the so-called morning-after pill has frustrated and angered victims' advocates and medical professionals who have long worked to improve victims' care. Gail Burns-Smith, one of several dozen experts who vetted the protocol during its three-year development by Justice's Office on Violence Against Women, said emergency contraception was included in an early draft, and she does not know of anyone who opposed it. "But in the climate in which we are currently operating, politically it's a hot potato," said Burns-Smith, retired director of Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services.
NEWS
October 3, 2007 | By Angela Couloumbis INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
Lawmakers in the state House of Representatives are bracing for a fight over a bill that would require hospitals to provide victims of sexual assault with access to emergency contraception. The purpose is simple, said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery): to allow women who have been traumatized by rape to decide whether they want to protect themselves from an unwanted pregnancy. The measure, House Bill 288, would mandate that all hospitals, regardless of religious affiliation, provide victims with information about emergency contraception, alert them that the hospital can give it to them, and do so if requested.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
July 27, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
The morning-after pill debate began anew this week when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration quietly said that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. would have three years of exclusive rights to sell Plan B One-Step oral contraceptives to anyone of any age as an over-the-counter product. Teva is based in Israel, but its Americas headquarters is in North Wales, Montgomery County. For more than a decade, women's health groups have pushed the FDA and two presidential administrations to make such contraceptives available to women of all ages without a prescription.
BUSINESS
June 13, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Don't rush to the drugstore quite yet if you are a female under 17, need emergency contraception, and have no prescription. "I don't expect to see it at neighborhood pharmacies instantly," said Susannah Baruch of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, which has been part of the decadelong legal fight to make such approved medicine available to females of any age, without a prescription, at the lowest possible cost. While Baruch said Tuesday it was "fantastic" that the Obama administration indicated Monday night it would tentatively comply with parts of federal Judge Edward B. Korman's recent orders regarding access, Baruch and colleagues did not like important details in a Justice Department letter that spelled out the government's plan.
NEWS
June 11, 2013 | By Tom Hays, Associated Press
NEW YORK - The federal government on Monday told a judge it will reverse course and take steps to comply with his order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without prescriptions. The Department of Justice, in the latest development in a complex back-and-forth over access to the morning-after pill, notified U.S. District Judge Edward Korman it will submit a plan for compliance. If he approves it, the department will drop its appeal of his April ruling. "Once the court confirms that the government's understanding is correct, the government intends to file with the Circuit Court notice that it is voluntarily withdrawing its appeal in this matter," the department said in a letter to the judge.
NEWS
June 11, 2013 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK - The federal government yesterday told a judge it will reverse course and take steps to comply with his order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without prescriptions. The Department of Justice, in the latest development in a complex back-and-forth over access to the morning-after pill, notified U.S. District Judge Edward Korman that it will submit a plan for compliance. If he approves it, the department will drop its appeal of his April ruling. According to the department's letter to the judge, the Food and Drug Administration has told the maker of the pills to submit a new drug application with proposed labeling that would permit it to be sold "without a prescription and without age or point-of-sale prescriptions.
NEWS
June 7, 2013 | By Larry Neumeister and Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press
NEW YORK - Generic versions of emergency contraception can be sold without a prescription or age restrictions while the federal government appeals a judge's ruling allowing the sales, an appeals court said Wednesday. The brief order issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan permitted two-pill versions of emergency contraception to immediately be sold without restrictions, but the court refused to allow unrestricted sales of Plan B One-Step until it decides the merits of the government's appeal.
NEWS
May 3, 2013 | By Lauran Neergaard and Josh Lederman, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration Wednesday appealed a federal judge's order to lift all age limits on who can buy morning-after birth-control pills without a prescription. The decision came a day after the Food and Drug Administration had lowered the age that people can buy the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill without a prescription to 15 - younger than the current limit of 17 - and decided that the pill could be sold on drugstore shelves near the condoms, instead of locked behind pharmacy counters.
NEWS
April 16, 2013
A New York federal judge's order that the Obama administration must make emergency contraception available to women of all ages places new emphasis on the need for comprehensive sex education in America's schools. Some critics fear making the so-called morning-after pill available without age restrictions - combined with today's easy access to condoms and other birth control - will lead to more teenagers becoming sexually active. There's no evidence that such a prediction will come true.
NEWS
April 7, 2013 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
A federal judge in Brooklyn ruled Friday that emergency contraception must be available over the counter without restriction for women of all ages, giving the product the same retail status as cough drops and condoms. U.S. District Judge Edward Korman's ruling caps a battle that began a dozen years ago when women's health activists first petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make the so-called morning-after pill readily available without a prescription. As he did in 2009, Korman on Friday assailed the FDA for delaying and defying the petition and subsequent lawsuit.
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