February 20, 2015
"Teenagers Push Their School To Really Support Safe Sex," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": Culp-Ressler highlights the efforts of high school students in New Hampshire "to expand access to contraception among sexually active teens" in their push for "a new policy that would make free condoms available in their nurse's office." According to Culp-Ressler, "[m]embers of Hanover High School's student government are preparing to present recent research they conducted on teens' access to condoms -- including a survey of local parents that found more than 80 percent of them support providing free condoms in school -- at an upcoming meeting of district officials." Culp-Ressler notes that "[t]he American Academy of Pediatrics ... officially endorsed the policy" of providing condoms in some schools in 2013. Further, Culp-Ressler notes that the push also comes amid "compelling evidence that giving high schoolers access to contraception really works," such as a 27% decrease over the past decade in New York City's teen pregnancy rate and a 40% drop in Colorado's teen pregnancy rate over the last five years amid programs to expand teenagers' access to contraceptives (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 2/17).
"Mississippi Asks Roberts Court To Help Close Its Only Abortion Clinic," Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check: "Despite all the reasons the [Supreme] Court should not step into the fight over hospital admitting privileges in Mississippi," the state's appeal of a lower court ruling blocking the law (HB 1390) "might be too much for the Court to resist," Mason Pieklo writes. She explains that Mississippi's appeal essentially asks whether "states are required to keep at least one clinic open ... if the right to an abortion is a federal right" by framing the issue as a "'bright line test' where states 'lose' the power to regulate abortion clinics." According to Mason Pieklo, "[a]nti-choice activists have turned to this kind of through-the-looking glass thinking, in which a hyper-regulatory environment for abortion providers that results in clinic closures like Mississippi is, in their reality, a regulatory environment that is 'dangerously close' to public financing of abortions." She writes that abortion-rights supporters cannot let the situation "stand unchallenged," noting that the Mississippi case ultimately "is not just a constitutional fight between the rights of patients and the power of the state," but "a case that, if anti-abortion activists get their way, will drive reproductive health care in Mississippi back into the shadows" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 2/19).