July 21, 2015


"Oregon's Over-the-Counter Birth Control Legislation Is Missing One Critical Component," Josephine Yurcaba, Bustle: Under laws enacted in both California (SB 493) and Oregon (HB 2879), women "can now buy hormonal birth control at the pharmacy without a doctor's prescription, which is a pretty big deal for women's health," Yurcaba writes. However, while "California's law has no age restrictions for who can get birth control, Oregon's over-the-counter birth control legislation has one big problem: Pharmacists can only provide birth control without a prescription to women over 18 years old." According to Yurcaba, the age restriction "is a huge problem for a few reasons," including how "teens are one of the populations with the most barriers standing between them and contraception access"; they "are often the least fit to deal with unplanned pregnancies"; and they "have the most to gain from free, uninhibited access to birth control." Yurcaba cites research that has shown access to contraception helps lower teen abortion rates and notes that "the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has endorsed over-the-counter access to birth control since 2012." She concludes, "To actually help all at-risk populations, Oregon should expand the legislation to include teens" (Yurcaba, Bustle, 7/19).

What others are saying about contraception:

~ "Why the IUD Could Be Your Perfect Birth Control Method," Vanessa Marin, "Life Hacker After Hours."


"Feminists Fought Back Against Anti-Abortion Extremists in Alabama Last Week," Ms. Magazine 's "Feminist Wire": Operation Save America last week "organized its annual national event of increased harassment and protesting outside targeted clinics in Alabama," according to Ms. Magazine's "Feminist Wire," but "[t]he Feminist Majority Foundation's Clinic Defense Team spent several weeks on the ground ... providing assistance to clinics throughout the state," with support from students, "feminists and activists." According to "Feminist Wire," OSA routinely "use[s] the summer to travel around the nation and protest abortion," but this year marks the first time "OSA invited an advocate of 'justifiable homicide' to be a featured speaker." The speaker, Matthew Trewhella, is "the leader of Missionaries to the Preborn" and a "signatory of the Defensive Action petition in support of the use of lethal force to stop abortion," "Feminist Wire" reports. OSA's protesters also included John Brockhoeft, another "advocate of justifiable homicide" and a "convicted felon who served time for arson attacks on clinics in Ohio" and for "conspiring to bomb a clinic in Pensacola, FL." However, duVergne Gaines, director of FMF's Clinic Defense Team, noted that despite threats, "'all of the abortion clinics in Alabama ... remained open and all patients were seen,'" "Feminist Wire" reports. According to "Feminist Wire," OSA's protest put the state on "high alert," which "is often necessary during extremist protests" because research has found that certain aggressive tactics by abortion-rights opponents "often preceded serious crimes such as violence, arson, bombings, stalking of clinic staff, patients, and doctors, and murder" ("Feminist Wire," Ms. Magazine, 7/20).

What others are saying about the antiabortion-rights movement:

~ "5 Arguments Against Abortion Every Feminist Has Heard -- And How To Respond to Each One," Madhuri Sathish, Bustle.


"The 4 Best States For Reproductive Rights Are Where We Should All Move, Stat," Lauren Holter, Bustle: "Despite the anti-abortion agenda sweeping much of the nation, four states" -- California, Maryland, Oregon and Vermont --"are keeping abortion clinics open and funded, making birth control more easily attainable, and protecting the rights of female minors," Holter writes. Specifically, she notes that Oregon, where 78% of women live in a county where there is an abortion provider, "doesn't have any restrictive abortion laws on the books," has "public funding for abortions," and recently passed legislation (HB 2879) allowing women "to buy birth control over the counter without a doctor's prescription." According to Holter, California, where 99% of women live in a county where there is an abortion provider, has passed similar legislation and only restricts abortion "at the time of fetal viability." Holter adds that 65% of women in Vermont live in a county where there is an abortion provider, and the state has no restrictions on abortion and "publicly funds medically necessary abortions." Meanwhile, 81% of women in Maryland live in a county where there is an abortion provider, Holter writes, adding that although the state "requires that parents of a minor seeking an abortion be notified beforehand," it "protect[s] women's reproductive rights" by "requir[ing] health insurers to cover infertility treatments for women" and restricting abortion only at the point of fetal viability (Holter, Bustle, 7/20).