December 11, 2015 — Media outlets and key stakeholders in women's health urge an end to antiabortion-rights harassment and violence, call on the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the federal contraceptive coverage rules' accommodation and more.
"If women are not free to make decisions about their own lives and health, they are not free. And if women are not free, none of us are." -- Abortion provider Warren Hern, in a STAT News opinion piece on why he continues to offer abortion care despite receiving harassment and death threats throughout his 42-year career (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/7).
"Enough is enough." -- Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, calling for an end to violence against women and women's health care providers. Richards made her comments as part of Planned Parenthood's day of solidarity following the November shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/7).
"Do we want to live in a country where extremists use violence to deny women legal health care, and people whose words may well spur them to action insist they have nothing to do with it?" -- Columnist Katha Pollitt, in a New York Times opinion piece that analyzes the Colorado clinic shooting in the context of antiabortion-rights rhetoric. Denouncing abortion-rights opponents' "long history" of "disclaiming any connection with violence," she writes, "Law enforcement and the news media have been reluctant to call this continuing violence by its rightful name: terrorism" (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/2).
"It seems implausible that less than a week after a tragic shooting at the Planned Parenthood health center in Colorado Springs some in Washington chose politics over compassion." -- Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, on the Senate's approval of a budget reconciliation bill (HR 3762) that would defund Planned Parenthood and repeal several of the Affordable Care Act's (PL 111-148) provisions. President Obama has pledged to veto the bill, which now returns to the House for another vote (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/4).
"This should not be a difficult case. In a secular society, religious freedom demands respect and accommodation, not a veto over government action that benefits others who believe differently." -- A New York Times editorial, urging the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the federal contraceptive rules' accommodation for not-for-profits that hold themselves out as religious and oppose contraception. The Supreme Court in November agreed to hear seven lawsuits challenging the accommodation, which will be consolidated into a single case (Women's Health Policy Report, 11/9).
"[T]wo states are about to allow patients to get [contraception] from a pharmacist without seeing a doctor first. Other states should consider similar moves." -- A New York Times editorial, on laws in California (SB 493) and Oregon (HB 2879) that will facilitate contraceptive access by allowing pharmacists "to prescribe pills, patches and rings after screening patients for possible risk factors like smoking or a history of blood clots" (New York Times, 11/28). According to the Times, "[t]he change could help reduce unintended pregnancies, especially for low-income women who might have trouble traveling to see a doctor or getting time off for an appointment" (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/1).
"Rather than promoting women's health, the ban on telemedicine harms women because but for the ban, [Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands] would provide safe, early medication abortions to more women." -- PPGNHI's lawsuit against two Idaho laws (HB 154, HB 189) that restrict telemedicine abortion in the state. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Boise, asks a federal judge to deem the Idaho laws unconstitutional and permanently block their enforcement (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/2).