Evolving State-Based Contraceptive and Abortion Policies

JAMA. 2017; 317(24): 2481-2482
Authors: Divya Mallampati, Melissa A. Simon, Elizabeth Janiak
“This Viewpoint discusses the importance of US state-based contraceptive and abortion policies given renewed focus by the Trump administration on restrictions to federal funding for reproductive services.”
Find article here.

Paid protection? Ethics of incentivised long-acting reversible contraception in adolescents with alcohol and other drug use

Journal of Medical Ethics 2017;43:182-187.
Authors: Won T, Blumenthal-Barby J, Chacko M
“Pregnant adolescents have a higher risk of poor maternal and fetal outcomes, particularly in the setting of concomitant maternal alcohol and other drug (AOD) use. Despite numerous programmes aimed at reducing overall teen pregnancy rates and the recognition of AOD use as a risk factor for unintended pregnancy in adolescents, interventions targeting this specific group have been sparse. In adult drug-using women, financial incentives for contraception have been provided but are ethically controversial. This article explores whether a trial could ethically employ monetary incentives in adolescents with AOD use to promote the use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), with special attention to the relevant distinctions between adults and adolescents.”
Find article here.

Indian activists welcome top court ban on ‘sterilization camps’ after women’s deaths

Reuters, 16 September 2016
Authors: Suchitra Mohanty, Nita Bhalla
“Women’s health activists on Friday cheered a ruling by India’s top court ordering the government to shut down “sterilization camps” within three years following the deaths of hundreds of largely poor rural women across the country.”
Find article here.

The Supreme Court Is Not Doing Its Job

Slate, online 19 May 2016
Author: Dhalia Lithwick
“On the merits, Monday’s Supreme Court unsigned opinion in Zubik v. Burwell, a vitally important contraception mandate case, is being read by some as a win for the Little Sisters of the Poor because the court didn’t brush off their claims that notifying the government they are unable to cover contraception for employees, thereby enabling insurers to do so, burdens their religious freedom. Others are hailing it as a big win for the Obama administration, which will get most of what it wanted if the Little Sisters can live with the court’s proposed compromise, including “seamless” health coverage for women employees. Really, though, Zubik—which raised crucial questions about whether one person’s religious freedom can trump a worker’s entitlement to preventative healthcare—is mainly just an inkblot for the ages; a placeholder until a real court can be reconstituted to do its job.”
Find article here.

U.S. top court seeks more information in contraception insurance case

Reuters, 29 March 2016
Author: Lawrence Hurley
“The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday asked both sides for new information in a challenge by Christian nonprofit employers to a mandate under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law to provide insurance to female workers covering birth control, indicating the justices are struggling to decide the closely watched case.”
Find article here.

Zubik v. Burwell Oral Arguments

Zubik v. Burwell Oral Arguments: Under Contraceptive Coverage Accommodation, Conscientious Objectors Or Collaborators?

Health Affairs blog, online 24 March 2016
Author: Timothy Jost
“On March 23, 2016 the Supreme Court once again heard oral arguments in a case involving the Affordable Care Act. The case, Zubik v. Burwell, does not involve a challenge to the constitutionality of the statute, as did National Federation of Independent Business v. Burwell, or even a claim that the government has violated the Affordable Care Act in its implementation of the statute, as did King v. Burwell, but rather a claim that a particular regulation implementing a particular provision of the ACA violates a separate statute, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).”
Find article here.

India to Change Its Decades-Old Reliance on Female Sterilization

NYT, 20 February 2016
Authors: Ellen Barry & Celia W Dugger
“For decades, India has relied on female sterilization as its primary mode of contraception, funding about four million tubal ligations every year, more than any other country. This year, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take a major step toward modernizing that system, introducing injectable contraceptives free of charge in government facilities. The World Health Organization recommends their use without restriction for women of childbearing age.”
Find article here.

Philippines contraception funding cut will fuel HIV and maternal deaths: activists

Reuters, 8 January 2016
Author: Ana P. Santos
“The Philippines legislature’s decision to eliminate funding for contraception will fuel HIV infections, maternal deaths and teen pregnancies, particularly among poor girls and women, reproductive rights advocates said on Friday. The decision to cut the $21 million contraceptive budget surprised and infuriated legislators and advocacy groups who had struggled more than a decade to pass the Reproductive Health Law that guaranteed funds to provide contraceptives to the poor.”
Find article here.

America and Reproductive Rights: Not Making the Grade

The Huffington Post, 8 January 2016
Author: Robert Walker
“The Population Institute this week is releasing its annual 50-state report card on reproductive health and rights, and it is not an encouraging report. It is, in fact, alarming. Nineteen states received a failing grade and the U.S. grade fell from a “C” to a “D+”. Attacks on Planned Parenthood, both physical and political, are jeopardizing the ability of women to access contraception and other reproductive health care services. At the same time, political assaults on sex education programs are gaining momentum and threatening the progress that we have made in reducing teen pregnancies.”
Find article here.