Roundup: Sebelius Confirmed as HHS Secretary

Emily Douglas

Sebelius confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services; recession hits teen pregnancy prevention programs; Montana may cut contraceptive coverage from CHIP; Missouri House approves amendment to protect pharmacists who deny medications.

Sebelius Confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services

in time to react to the first US death as a result of swine flu, former
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human
Services.  Nancy Keenan writes, "As our country faces challenges on a number of fronts, especially on
the issue of affordable health care, we look forward to ensuring that
women’s health and sound science are a priority, rather than the failed
political maneuvering that damaged this agency during the previous Bush

Recession Hits
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs
Obama administration has shown a willingness to establish federal
funding for comprehensive sexuality education programs — but the money
may not arrive in time for many teen pregnancy prevention programs in
states across the country, the Wall Street Journal reports.  Describing a program in South Carolina, the Journal writes,

The nonprofit organization is one of hundreds of similar
teen-pregnancy-prevention and sex-education programs across the country
under recessionary pressure at the very moment their prospects of
government funding appear to be the best in years.

Cuts in state funding may put the programs out of business before federal funding for comprehensive sex ed comes through.

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Montana May Cut Contraceptive Coverage from CHIP

Montana state legislature is contemplating cutting family planning
coverage from the state’s children’s health insurance program, reports the Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Billings Republican State Rep. Penny Morgan called the coverage
"contraceptives for children" even though CHIP provides coverage to
women of up to 19 years of age. "Part of is was fiscal, part of it was probably value-based, like most
things around here,” said Sen. Keith Bales, R-Otter, chairman of the
Senate Finance and Claims Committee and a key negotiator in the budget
compromise.  Planned Parenthood’s spokeswoman pointed out that paying for contraception is cheaper than paying for pregnancy.

Missouri House Approves Amendment to Protect Pharmacists Who Deny Medications
Missouri House has approved an amendment that would protect pharmacists
who deny medication, including Plan B and medication abortion, from
legal action, the Columbia Missourian reports. "The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, states that a
pharmacy can’t be sued for not carrying medication and that the state
cannot revoke a license if a pharmacy does not carry certain
medication. It specifically mentions Plan B, an emergency contraception
drug that can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected
sex, and RU-486, the drug used to induce an abortion."

Other News to Note
April 28: The Christian Post: The Morning After Pill and the End of Parenthood 

April 27: Chicago Tribune: Sexting consequences

April 27: EmpoweHer: Sex Ed: Abstinence-only Versus Comprehensive — Which Is Most Effective?

April 28: LiveScience: Small Victory in Access to Contraception

April 28: Medical News Today: Editorials Commend FDA Decision To Expand Access To Plan B Emergency Contraception

April 28: St. Louis Beacon: Hormonal contraceptive link to HPV, cervical cancer examined

April 28: WaPo: Authentic Common Ground on Abortion

April 28: ReadMedia Press Release: Pro-Choice Clergy Hold Press Conference at Capitol on Wednesday

April 28: NARAL Pro-Choice America: Sebelius confirmed

April 28: LifeNews: Pro-Abortion Republican Senator Arlen Specter Switches Parties, Now a Democrat

April 28: LifeNews: Pennsylvania Pro-Life Advocates Win Free Speech Decision in Federal Court

April 28: Michigan Policy Network: Interview: Chris Gast of Michigan Right to Life

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