The ‘Uber for birth control’ expands in conservative states, opening a new front in war over contraception

Stat

Max Blau

It’s a telemedicine app that seems rather innocuous — enter your info, have it reviewed by a physician, and get a prescription. The California-based company behind it has raised millions to support its mission of expanding access to the pill, ring, or morning-after pill with minimal hurdles.

But that last option is now starting to attract pushback from anti-abortion activists, who consider the morning-after pill equivalent to abortion — and who say lax telemedicine laws are enabling access to this drug with insufficient oversight.

Nurx, an app that’s been called the “Uber for birth control,” lets patients obtain a variety of contraceptives from the touch of a smartphone; it also gives women access to Plan B and Ella, two forms of the morning-after pill, which is effective in preventing a pregnancy after sex. Women can order these drugs in a few easy steps: answer a series of health questions; provide basic demographic information; and choose a preferred drug. A doctor then reviews the patient’s information, writes a prescription, and the drug is delivered to either the patient’s home or her local pharmacy. . .  [Full text]

 

Italian Doctors Abort a Law

Interpress Service News Agency

Silvia Giannelli

ROME, Apr 5 2014 (IPS) – Two out of three doctors in Italy are ‘conscientious objectors’ to abortion, according to new data. The Italian Ministry of Health reveals that in 2011, 69.3 percent of doctors refused to carry out abortions, with peaks of over 85 percent in some regions.

In the face of such numbers, the ruling of the European Committee of Social Rights of the Council of Europe against Italy earlier this month over a complaint for violating the right to protection of health came as no surprise.

“The Italian situation really worries us, and this is why we filed the complaint,” Irene Donadio, advocacy officer at the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF_EN) told IPS. “We believe that there is a problem with the functioning and application of the abortion law, which, in fact, would be a good law but is often violated.

“We acknowledge the fact that the right to conscientious objection is included in the same law, but the right of women to access a service that is legal and fundamental for their health needs to be respected as much as this right.” [Full Text]

Equality legislation used to defend conscientious objection to abortion

 (United Kingdom: 2011)

  • John Smeaton* | The two nurses . . .were employed at a hospital for ordinary nursing duties. They were then allocated to work once a week at an abortion clinic in the hospital. The abortion process did not involve surgical abortion but the increasingly common process of “early medical abortion” . . .When they became aware that they were participating in abortion they told their management that they did not want to continue but were then told that they had no choice in the matter. . . Full Text

Conscientious Objectors Behind the Counter: Statutory Defenses to Tort Liability for Failure to Dispense Contraceptives

1 St. Louis U. J. Health L. & Pol’y 337, 337-40 (2008)

Jennifer E. Spreng

Introduction:  The United States Food and Drug Administration’s decisions in the past decade to approve both RU-486 and Plan B have created crises of conscience for some religious pharmacists. RU-486 induces abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy without surgical intervention and Plan B is a two-pill “emergency contraceptive” regimen that may have abortifacient properties. Some religious pharmacists prefer not to dispense the drugs because their religious scruples forbid them from participating in abortions.  Some also object to dispensing daily oral contraceptives6 on the same basis. [Full Text]

Testimony of pharmacist re: Wisconsin Assembly Bill 63

Wisconsin
Before the Assembly Labour Committee

 Susan Grosskreuz, R.Ph.

Although there is an extremely high demand for pharmacists in our state, I have had to be very selective as to where I am willing to work because I cannot go against my conscience. . . Although pharmacy jobs in the retail sector were generally plentiful . . . I accepted a position at a newly created pharmacy . . .that served only nursing home patients. . . . I actually would have preferred working in the retail sector but I didn’t feel I had any protection if I requested to refrain from filling prescriptions that had abortifacient potential. [Full Text]