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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

Bill Would Improve Access to Emergency Contraception For Rape Victims

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New legislation introduced in the Senate on Tuesday would require emergency contraception be made available to rape victims at federally funded hospitals.

According to Talking Points, a group of Democrats are backing the "Emergency Contraception Access and Education Act of 2014" which would allow victims of rape have access to emergency contraception at hospitals operating with Medicare
or Medicaid funding.

It says a contraceptive drug must be provided if it is approved by the FDA and "prevents pregnancy primarily by preventing or delaying ovulation, and does not terminate an established pregnancy." The bill also requires the hospitals to submit data about emergency contraceptives. Democrats are actively using the issue of contraceptive coverage as a political cudgel against Republicans in the run-up to the November midterm elections.

Here's a list of badass Senators trying to make this happen: Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Patty Murray (D-WA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Sen. Murray spoke to Time about the bill. "As we saw in the aftermath of the Hobby Lobby decision, and as we've seen in state legislatures across the country, Republicans are intent on standing in the way of women and their ability to make their own decisions about their own bodies and their own health care," she said. "It is our job to protect these kinds of decisions for women, their families, and particularly for survivors of sexual assault. Emergency contraception is a critical part of these family planning choices and it's time."

According to The Hill, the bill also aims to provide more education to the general public about how emergency contraception works and where it can be obtained.

The HHS secretary would also be required to provide that information to healthcare providers and pharmacists. Currently, six states allow pharmacists to refuse to provide emergency contraception to customers, despite the Food and Drug Administration declaring the drug safe and effective for women of all ages.

"Decisions about emergency contraception, like all forms of birth control, should be between a woman and her doctor," said Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood president. "Not her pharmacist, her boss, or her Congressman." A-fucking-men to that.

If you want to more about the brands and types of emergency contraception, here's a list from Princeton as well as some information from Planned Parenthood.

Image via Shutterstock.