The report emphasizes that increased access to birth control should be accompanied by comprehensive sex education programs in schools, which are strongly correlated with delayed or reduced sexual activity, a smaller number of sexual partners, and increased use of condoms or other contraceptives. Despite the overwhelming evidence that comprehensive sex education has positive health effects for teens, manystates have been promoting abstinence-only education programs.
"Some schools have been hesitant to provide young people with programs and access to condoms, and the pediatricians' strong, clear statement serves as an urgent call for policymakers, school administrators and parents to do everything they can to give teens what they need to stay healthy," said Planned Parenthood Federation of America's vice president of education, Leslie Kantor, in a statement celebrating the report.
Media Resources: Reuters 10/28; Guttmacher Institute February 2012; Feminist Newswire 3/21/11, 11/3/11, 7/1/13; Planned Parenthood Federation of America 10/28/13
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .