Posted by: Amelia | July 18, 2007

Clinton Stands Up for Servicewomen and EC

This press release is worth reproducing in its entirety:

July 17, 2007

Senator Clinton Introduces Bill to Give Servicewomen Access to Emergency Contraception

“The Compassionate Care for Servicewomen Act” Will Ensure Servicewomen Have Access to EC

Washington, DC – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) introduced legislation today to ensure that U.S. servicewomen have access to and information about emergency contraception (EC). Congressmen Mike Michaud (D-ME) and Chris Shays (R-CT) are the champions of this legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Women deserve access to EC and our servicewomen are no different. Ensuring that EC is more broadly available at military health care facilities is a fair, common-sense step that everyone should be able to agree on,” said Senator Clinton.

Current Department of Defense policy does not require EC to be available at all health care facilities. In fact, current availability of EC is up to the discretion of each individual facility. According to the Pentagon, the number of reported sexual assaults in the military increased approximately 24 percent in 2006 – nearly 3000 incidents were reported in 2006 compared to almost 2400 in 2005. Given this unfortunate spike in reports of sexual assault cases in the military, access to EC is needed now more than ever. The Compassionate Care for Servicewomen Act simply ensures that EC is available at all facilities for our servicewomen.

Last year, the FDA made emergency contraception available over the counter for women eighteen years of age and older. Research shows that emergency contraception is safe and effective for preventing pregnancy. More than 70 major medical organizations, including the America Academy of Pediatrics, recommended that Plan B be made available over the counter. By providing access to emergency contraception, up to 95 percent of unintended pregnancies could be prevented if emergency contraception is administered within the first 24 to 72 hours.

The Compassionate Care for Servicewomen Act is also sponsored in the Senate by Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).

Any politician who claims to support our troops and votes against this bill is a dirty hypocrite.  Whether the forced-pregnancy crowd likes it or not, EC is FDA-approved for over-the-counter use by women in this country – civilian or otherwise.  The women risking their lives for our country deserve nothing less than full and unfettered access.

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