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Policy Updates

February 2011

House Republicans Use Appropriations Process to Undermine Access to Vital Health Care Services and Education
Despite some legislators’ fervent efforts in the waning days of 2010, they were unable to finalize appropriations for Fiscal Year 2011 before the 111th Congress adjourned. Instead, they approved the Continuing Appropriations and Surface Transportation Extensions Act, 2011 (P. L. 111-322), a stopgap measure to fund the operations of the ...
President Obama Releases Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request; Prioritizes Sexual and Reproductive Health
On February 14, 2010, President Obama submitted his budget for the 2012 Fiscal Year. Under increased pressure to reduce discretionary spending in order to reduce the deficit, the President’s $3.7 million plan freezes discretionary spending for five years and cuts or terminates more than 200 programs.[1] The budget freezes funding for
Unprecedented Campaign against Reproductive Rights Begins in Congress
Despite campaigning on job creation, the economy, and limited government in the 2010 elections, after taking the majority, Republicans in the House of Representatives wasted no time in attacking reproductive rights immediately after the 112th Congress commenced. Three GOP anti-choice stalwarts—Representatives Mike Pence (R-IN), Joseph Pitts (R-PA), and Christopher Smith ...
Manufacturer Moves to Make Emergency Contraception Available to All Women over the Counter
Teva Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step, has filed an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow over-the-counter availability of the emergency contraceptive Plan B without an age restriction.[1] Currently,
Heartland State Considers Comprehensive Sex Education Legislation
For the first time this legislative session, lawmakers in Nebraska heard a bill that would require all public schools to teach comprehensive sexuality education. Legislative Bill 192 seeks to mandate sexual health education that would teach, among other topics, “the benefits of and reasons for not engaging in sexual intercourse” ...
South African Government Initiates School-Based HIV Testing
In February 2011, South African officials plan to offer HIV testing in designated public schools as part of the federal government’s HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) initiative. The initiative, headed by President Jacob Zuma, strives to address the HIV epidemic in South Africa. HCT aims to make every South African ...
Studies Debunk Post-Abortion Syndrome Myth
Opponents of a woman’s right to choose abortion often cite the claim that women who undergo abortions suffer from mental health problems, or what they have labeled “post-abortion syndrome.” Two recent developments, however, could potentially put this anti-choice argument to rest. First, a Danish study published in the New England ...

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