From the “Cheers and Jeers” section of Women’s eNews:
The Republican-led New York State Senate passed a bill Wednesday to allow local pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception to women without prescription, according to combined news reports.
Fabulous. Now both my “home” states — Washington and New York — have sensible rules regarding access to EC (assuming that Gov. Pataki signs the legislation, which he likely will).
But in not-so-great news:
Female teens who try to obtain contraceptives may have to wait at least five days for their parents to be notified, according to the Parents’ Right-to-Know Act, which was re-introduced Tuesday in Congress.
The key quote, though, is this one:
“This bill does nothing but put parents back in charge of their adolescent daughters, said Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who introduced the legislation, reported CNSNews.com, an online news service.
Do I even need to comment on that statement? Of course, parental notification will mean that fewer young women will try and obtain contraceptives before having sex — but it won’t mean that fewer of them will have sex. And forty percent of sexually active teens turn to Title X-funded clinics for their contraceptive needs. So for people who supposedly want to prevent abortion, it’s striking that they would try and limit contraceptive access — when increased contraceptive use accounts for 80 percent of the recent decline in teen pregnancy. And a decline in unintended pregnancy = a decline in abortion.
People like Coburn, of course, would like to see contraceptives highly limited (even illegalized) and abortion banned. This, despite pretty substantial evidence of what happens when abortion is illegal:
An estimated 60 percent of abortions in Nigeria, where the procedure is illegal, are performed by non-physicians in unsafe facilities, according to a study by the Lagos-based Campaign against Unwanted Pregnancy, a community-based organization in Lagos, reported the Lagos Daily Champion on Thursday. Approximately 610,000 abortions, a rate of 25 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44. occur yearly in Nigeria, the study found.
But as long as parents have control of their adolescent daughters…
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