Today: Feb 29, 2024

Planned Parenthood activists take a stand

BRITTANY MONTAGUEStaff Writer

Encouraging students in the Adanti Student Center to write to Congress was the action that interns for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, Amanda Proscino and Madison Breuer, took.
With refusal clauses in effect, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and members of Congress are trying to push even further to ensure religious employees, religious colleges and religious institutions such as hospitals, do
not provide birth control.
“We are here trying to get people to text the number of the White House to voice their opinion, to say this isn’t healthy
and the refusal clauses affect many women,” said Proscino.
According to the Planned Parenthood website, health care professionals cite their religious, moral, ideological and personal objections as reason to deny contraceptive methods. Planned Parenthood believes denying women their rights to timely access to health care is an act of discrimination and could lead to an increasing rate of unplanned pregnancies.
Refusal clauses vary in terms of who they protect, what services can be refused and what justification an institution or individual may use to refuse to provide service.
Planned Parenthood does say while the total number of pharmacist refusals is unknown, cases of these incidents are increasing.
A Kmart pharmacist in Wisconsin refused to fill a birth control prescription because he said he did not want to commit a sin. The prescription was eventually filled by the pharmacy director two days later and the pharmacist is now
on trial for violating Wisconsin’s Regulation and Licensing Department standards of care.
Both Breuer and Proscino said those in favor of the refusal clauses are letting their own religious beliefs get in the way of the rights for people who really need the health care.
After stopping her birth control for a while, because of health reasons, Breuer said she is now back on birth control and believes anyone having sex should use some form of contraception. Proscino agreed and added her advice when using contraceptives.
“As many as you can have the better, use more than one,” she said. “A condom and the pill.”
At the table, Proscino and Breuer handed out cards with the services Planned Parenthood provides, contact information, brochures on preventative methods, condoms and encouraged safe sex.
Proscino said one of the reasons she feels so strongly about lobbying people to help change the refusal clause is because some women do not just use birth control for unplanned pregnancies, but for other reasons such as acne and heavy menstruation.
“A girl came today and was telling us that this is something that can really affect her because she has really bad menstrual cramping and periods, and refusal would mean she would have to suffer,” said Proscino.
Planned Parenthood currently provides birth control to nearly 2.5 million patients. The website claims 46 states have existing refusal statues written into its state legislation and federal legislation is being proposed to expand this. Currently 13 states have passed laws requiring health plans to pay for contraceptives, if it covers prescription drugs to include contraceptives, and 21 states are considering such legislation.

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