March 17, 2015 — Read the week's best commentaries from bloggers at Care2, "ThinkProgress" and more.
ABORTION RESTRICTIONS: "Repro Wrap: Massive Medication Abortion Attacks and Other News," Robin Marty, Care2: Marty comments on various legislative and legal battles over abortion rights that occurred last week, including a hearing in a case before the Iowa Supreme Court "over whether the state's telemedicine abortion program should be allowed to continue." She writes that in the case, "Planned Parenthood argu[ed] that there have been no complications as a result of telemedicine and that the state medical board was motivated by politics in trying to ban this kind of care." Similarly, Marty notes that medication abortion was also a point of contention last week "in Arizona, where an abortion restriction proposal [SB 1318] had a surprise amendment added that would force doctors to tell patients that a medication abortion could potentially be reversed with a new protocol," even though that information is false. Marty also touches on other abortion restrictions in Arkansas, Minnesota, Montana and Ohio, as well as the federal debate "over a human-trafficking bill [S 178] into which [abortion-rights opponents] sneaked a ban on abortion funding" (Marty, Care2, 3/13).
CPCs: "‘Crisis Pregnancy Center' Tells Woman her IUD was a Baby," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": "According to a new report released by NARAL Pro-Choice California, [California] is grappling with a rise in 'crisis pregnancy centers,'" Culp-Ressler writes. According to Culp-Ressler, CPCs are "right-wing organizations that masquerade as reproductive health clinics in order to dissuade pregnant women from having an abortion." She writes that the NARAL investigation found that CPCs in California told undercover investigators that "abortion is supposedly linked to breast cancer, depression, and infertility" and that ending a pregnancy could "puncture" a woman's "uterus and close her Fallopian tubes, preventing her from having any more children in the future." In addition, the centers used shaming tactics and offered inaccurate medical information, such as incorrectly telling one investigator who received ultrasounds at several clinics that her intrauterine device was "her 'baby'" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 3/13).
What others are saying about CPCs:
~ "Undercover Investigation Confirms California Crisis Pregnancy Centers Lie to Women," Nina Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check.
CONTRACEPTION: "FDA Approves New IUD Designed To Be More Affordable," Martha Kempner, RH Reality Check: FDA last month "approved a new intrauterine device ... that, among other things, was designed with affordability in mind," Kempner writes. According to Kempner, "Liletta, which is already available in Europe, is being marketed in the United States through a unique partnership between manufacturers who hope to bring the device to more people at a lower cost." For example, she writes that Medicine 360, one of the companies marketing Liletta, plans to make it "available at a reduced price to clinics enrolled in the 340B Drug Pricing program," which "is available to entities that typically serve low-income women." However, Kempner notes that "it is unclear whether Liletta will be cheaper than the three IUDs already on the [U.S.] market" for "those obtaining Liletta through private providers" (Kempner, RH Reality Check, 3/13).
CARE DISPARITIES: "Native American Women Still Getting Short Shrift on Emergency Contraception," Georgeanne Usova, American Civil Liberties Union's "Blog of Rights: "An investigation by Sen. [Barbara] Boxer's [D-Calif.] staff found that pharmacies run by the [Indian Health Service] ... still aren't providing emergency contraception over the counter," despite a federal court ruling two years ago mandating that FDA "make Plan B [EC] an over-the-counter drug," Georgeanne Usova writes. She adds that another survey by the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center in 2014 "found similar results." Usova calls the situation "unacceptable," noting that EC "is important health care for women, particularly Native American women" because they "are sexually assaulted at more than twice the national rate." Further, she notes that "[b]ecause many Native American women who rely on IHS pharmacies live in very rural communities, IHS failure to make Plan B accessible effectively makes it unavailable," since the "next closest commercial pharmacy might be hundreds of miles away." Usova calls on the federal government to address the problem, noting that it "is legally and morally obligated to ensure that these women and communities are not left behind" (Usova, "Blog of Rights," ACLU, 3/16).