Tag: contraception

Maryland Now Has the Best Birth Control Laws in the Nation

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Congratulations, Maryland: Your birth control just got cheaper.

More Birth Control Means More Sex, Hopkins Study Finds

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Contraception helps women avoid unwanted pregnancies–but it has wider benefits, too. Studies have shown that access to contraception improves all sorts of economic and social outcomes. Oh, and according to a new study out of Johns Hopkins, it also leads to more sex.

Can Someone Explain to Baltimore’s Incoming Archbishop the Meaning of Religious Liberty?

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Baltimore's archbishop-designate, William Lori

To get ready for his new high-profile role as the Roman Catholic archbishop of Baltimore, William Lori went on Meet the Press to decry society’s moral decay. Particularly, Lori had beef with the “erosion of religious liberty,” in the form of religious institutions being forced to provide coverage for contraception in their employee healthcare plans.

“Religious liberty?” Is everyone picking up this new definition from Rick Santorum? Will America’s religious groups only be free when everyone else is forced to abide by their religious convictions? Is that the new bizarro meaning of liberty? I know, I know. The sticking point is that these institutions would be footing the bill for something that doesn’t square with their beliefs. But surely of all the things your money is used for without your approval (war, unmanned drone assassinations, etc.), the pill has got to be the least of your worries.

Lori said that America’s various faiths “contribute to a moral consensus that underlies our laws.” An interesting statement, when there is no “consensus” on contraception within Christianity, let alone among the several religions. Presbyterians, Unitarians, and Anglicans, among others, are in fact for it. And anyway, you want to talk about consensus? 98 percent of sexually experienced Catholic women have used contraception — how’s that for consensus?

At the end of March, the Senate passed a bill that would allow employers to refuse to cover anything they find morally objectionable. So, if you’re working for a Catholic institution that ends up denying you contraception coverage, you can be happy you don’t work for Jehovah’s Witnesses; they probably wouldn’t cover blood transfusions.

Towson Considers (But Vetoes) A Plan-B Vending Machine

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Plan B, known more commonly as “the morning-after pill,” is an emergency contraceptive pill that prevents or delays ovulation, thus preventing pregnancy. Though it’s come under fire from some corners, it’s widely available throughout the country. But not, alas, in a vending machine in Towson University.

The idea of a Plan B vending machine first came about when the school’s Health Services department heard about a similar machine at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, which offeres Plan B for a discounted price. “We already dispense Plan B now at Dowell Health Center and we try to make it simple, but students still must see a nurse to request it,” said Student Health Services director, Jane Halpern. Getting Plan B from Shippensburg’s machine isn’t quite as simple as buying yourself a bag of Doritos; the machine is in a private room, which can be accessed only by students, who must first check in at the lobby. No state-supported or taxpayer-supported dollars are used for the program.

The vending machine makes access to emergency contraception easier and more confidential. An anonymous Towson student told the school’s newspaper that “it’s more embarrassing to go to a CVS and buy it than at the health center.”

While the proposal interested some members of the Health Services community, no plans were made to move forward — perhaps because birth control is suddenly a touchy topic these days. What’s your take — does an emergency contraception vending machine make sense for a college campus?

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