Posts Tagged ‘Department of Health and Human Services’

Catholic university sues feds over birth control mandate

Posted on: February 21st, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Ceridwn

Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in a town outside of Naples, Fla., is suing the federal government over a recent mandate requiring health insurers to cover contraception as a preventive service.

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HHS secretary disputes claims that birth control decision disrespects religion

Posted on: February 6th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (Photo: Flickr/US Mission Geneva)

In an op-ed printed in USA Today yesterday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius takes on accusations that a recent federal decision requiring health insurers to cover contraception as a preventive service is an attack on religious groups. (more…)

Report: Morning after pill not always available to women 17 and older

Posted on: December 20th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments
In the wake of the federal government’s decision to overrule the FDA’s request to expand access to over-the-counter emergency contraception to women under the age of 17, a new report shows that even some women 17 and older are unable to obtain the morning after pill when they need it.

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Judge may hear challenge to federal decision on Plan B

Posted on: December 14th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments
A women’s health advocacy group plans to reopen a legal fight to challenge the federal government’s decision to overrule a request from the FDA to expand access to the morning after pill, also called Plan B, to women under the age of 17.

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AP: 2.5 million young adults obtained health insurance under Affordable Care Act

Posted on: December 14th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

According to new information, a provision in the Affordable Care Act has helped 2.5 million young adults gain health insurance since the law took effect. (more…)

Senate Dems ask Sebelius for ‘scientific rationale’ behind emergency birth control decision

Posted on: December 13th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments
Fourteen U.S. Senate Democrats have sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for the “scientific rationale” behind her decision to reverse an FDA request to expand access to over-the-counter emergency contraception for teenagers under the age of 17.

In a statement announcing her decision, Sebelius said that although “the science has confirmed the drug to be safe and effective with appropriate use, the switch from prescription to over the counter for this product requires that we have enough evidence to show that those who use this medicine can understand the label and use the product appropriately. ”

“I do not believe that Teva’s application met that standard. The label comprehension and actual use studies did not contain data for all ages for which this product would be available for use,” she said.

Reproductive rights advocates immediately denounced the decision. Numerous groups have already released statements and written letters to Sebelius and the White House expressing disagreement with the decision.

The Washington Post reports that now a group of U.S. senators have written a letter to Sebelius requesting an explanation.

According to the letter:

We feel strongly that FDA regulations should be based on science. We write to you today to ask that you provide us with the rationale for this decision.

As numerous medical societies and patient advocates have argued, improved access to birth control, including emergency contraception, has been proven to reduce unintended pregnancies. Nearly half of all pregnancies that occur in the United States each year are unintended. Keeping Plan B behind the counter makes it harder for all women to obtain a safe and effective product they may need to prevent an unintended pregnancy.

We ask that you share with us your specific rationale and the scientific data you relied on for the decision to overrule the FDA recommendation. On behalf of the millions of women we represent, we want to be assured that this and future decisions affecting women’s health will be based on medical and scientific evidence.

President Obama has publicly supported Sebelius’ decision.

Reproductive rights groups compare Obama to Bush for Plan B decision

Posted on: December 8th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

President Barack Obama (Photo: Flickr/The White House)

Women’s health advocates all over the country were stunned yesterday when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reversed an FDA request to expand access to over-the-counter emergency contraception for teenagers under the age of 17. In press releases denouncing the decision, a common theme has emerged: President Obama has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor, George W. Bush, on the heated issue of emergency contraception. (more…)

NOW asks Obama to resist demands from bishops on birth control

Posted on: December 6th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

The National Organization for Women (NOW), the largest organization of feminist activists in the U.S., has joined reproductive rights advocates in asking President Obama not to cave in to pressure from the Catholic leaders asking that he strike a recent decision that increases access to birth control for women. (more…)