As a young person just starting to explore my own role in the political process, I can tell you that most of what I see regarding my own rights as a women is completely disheartening. I want to vote for and support the people that I think will be good for the economy and advocate for the issues I care about, yet again and again the challenge I confront is a candidate’s stance on my rights as a woman to control decisions regarding my body. Frankly, this shouldn’t have to be a concern for me. It should be a given that, as a citizen and as a human being, my right to privately make decisions that are best for me, my body and my family are protected. I want to see this issue move out of the ‘political wrestling ring’ and be placed where it belongs: with the individual.
This is why I’m so excited to finally see justice and reason winning out over politics, religious extremism and partisanship as access to emergency contraception is finally – and rightfully – being granted. Thanks to a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, the two-pill version of emergency contraception will be available to individuals without proof of age requirements or a prescription. In doing so, the Court of Appeals sided with the historic ruling of US District Court Judge Korman, who ruled that the Administration’s opposition to emergency contraception was “politically motivated and scientifically unjust.” The Court of Appeals unfortunately agreed to the Administration’s request to continue blocking availability of the one-pill version of emergency contraception.
Access is critical, because emergency contraception is most effective when used within 24 hours of birth control failure. Obstacles such as prescriptions and age-restrictions prevent women and their partners from getting emergency contraception in time for it to work best. While the FDA attempted to compromise on age restrictions by lowering to 15, Judge Korman and the 2nd Circuit court’s ruling recognized that it is ridiculous to assume that most 15 year old women will have valid, legal forms of identification. Additionally, this measure fails to reconcile the issue of women of any age who don’t have identification cards, or who work difficult schedules and are unable to get to a doctor on short notice for a prescription and subsequently to a store during pharmacy hours. Thankfully, the appeals court ruling recognizes that limiting access to a safe form of birth control that works within a short time limit simply makes no sense. and
This is a tremendous win for all who believe that the government’s role should be to increase—not block—access to safe and effective forms of birth control. Family planning is a moral good and fundamental right that every woman, no matter her age, should be able to control for herself.
Nicole Miller was an intern in our office this month. She attends university in North Carolina and is originally from the DC area.
We don’t typically share press releases on the RCRC blog, but we’re making an exception because we’re so excited about today’s ruling by a Federal Court which requires that emergency contraception be made available over the counter.
The case, which has been going on for many years, was brought by our friends at the Center for Reproductive Rights. The ruling requires that emergency contraception be made available over the counter within 30 days. Reproductive justice calls us work to create an environment where all people have access to everything they need to make decisions about their reproductive and sexual lives according to their own conscience and faith. This ruling is a huge step forward in recognizing the moral agency of women and couples to decide whether and/or when to have children.
It’s about time.
April 4, 2013 — The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) applauds today’s Federal Court decision to increase access to emergency contraception. The ruling gives every woman and couple easier access to one more safe and effective birth control option. It also represents a clear—albeit long-delayed—triumph of science and public health over politics and moral policing.
“This ruling is both a victory for women and a victory for religious freedom,” said RCRC Director of Public Policy Rev. Rob Keithan. “The government’s role in reproductive healthcare should be to respect religious differences and protect access to options, not to impose one particular religious viewpoint and limit opportunities because of it. Every person should be able to make healthcare decisions according to their own beliefs and values.”
The ruling, from a case brought against the federal government by the Center for Reproductive Rights, improves access to safe, reliable contraception, which is an essential part of basic reproductive healthcare for women.
“Our commitment to reproductive justice calls us to ensure that a woman has access to all the resources she needs to take care of herself and her family, including emergency contraception. RCRC views access to emergency contraception—and to contraception generally—as a moral imperative that benefits women, families, and society overall.” said Keithan.
By Leora Cohen-Rosenberg
Machon Kaplan Intern with RCRC
The Institute of Medicine has just recommended that birth control be available without a co-pay. This is a great victory in the uphill battle we are fighting for reproductive health. This recommendation could mean that birth control will be considered part of the preventive health care that the Affordable Care Act requires insurance plans to provide without out-of-pocket payment.
As a young woman who will eventually not be covered under her parents’ insurance, it relieves me that it is very possible that I will still be able to stay on birth control. Being raised in the Reform Jewish community, I was taught that all people should be given the health care they need. It all relates to Tikkun Atzmi, repairing yourself, and Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. First we need to make sure that we are safe, that we can afford our birth control. From there we are able to go on and help others with reproductive health.
When I was in high school I had a Catholic friend, Lisa, who became sexually active. She went to church most Sundays and had been confirmed in eighth grade. Lisa felt that she couldn’t rely on condoms alone to protect her from pregnancy and that she needed another form of birth control. Her parents were absolutely against pre-marital sex and Lisa knew she couldn’t go to them for help. Luckily, there was a Planned Parenthood not too far from where we lived that she was able to go to and get her birth control. She had to pay $30 a month, which may not seem like a lot but was a struggle to a high school student without a job. Lisa could have greatly benefitted from having birth control without a co-pay or deductible. Now, so many other women may be helped.
Preventing an unintended pregnancy saves so much money in the long run, but that isn’t all this is about. For the first time, a women’s ability to become pregnant will not be considered a pre-existing condition. In a world dominated by men, women are working towards being truly equal. This includes women making a dollar for every dollar men make instead of 79 cents, but a large part is women’s health care. Access to abortion is quickly becoming near-impossible in many states because of so-called “pro-life” advocates who care more about a fetus than they do the pregnant woman. Now, our country is finally taking a step in the right direction for women’s health.