Woman suing two pharmacies after being denied emergency contraception

The US case brings to light concerns around conscientious objection at a time when a federal religious discrimination bill is being debated in Australia

AJP

Sheshtyn Paola

A woman has filed a lawsuit against a Thrifty White Pharmacy and a CVS Pharmacy in Minnesota in the US, alleging the two pharmacies illegally kept her from accessing emergency contraception.

Andrea Anderson, a 39-year-old mother of five, says she asked the pharmacist at her drugstore in Minnesota more than once why he couldn’t fill her prescription for emergency contraception, according to the Star Tribune.

“I then realised what was happening: he was refusing to fill my prescription for emergency contraception because he did not believe in it,” Ms Anderson said on Tuesday. . . [Full text]

Could the threat of lawsuits rein in gender dysphoria doctors?

BioEdge

Michael Cook

Critics of transgender treatment for children have been making heavy weather of persuading people that it could be medically dangerous. However, a well-documented feature in The Australian warns that transgender doctors could face class action suits if they continue to ignore research which claims that children are being harmed. . . [Full text]

In the Footsteps of Teiresias: Treatment for Gender Dysphoria in Children and the Role of the Courts

Mike O’Connor, Bill Madden

The Family Court of Australia has stepped back from a previously perceived need for involvement in the approval of stage 1 and stage 2 treatments, for children requiring gender transformation. At present those children and their families who are in agreement need not seek authorisation of the Family Court to undertake either Stage 1 (pubarche blockade with gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonists) or Stage 2 treatment (cross-hormone therapy such as oestrogen for transgender males). Stage 1 treatment to suppress pubarche would nowadays be commenced at Tanner stage 2 which commences as early as 9.96 years in girls and 10.14 years in boys. Suppression of puberty continues until the age of 16 years when cross hormonal treatment commences. This article questions the assertion that suppression of puberty by GnRH analogues either in cases of precocious puberty or gender dysphoria is “safe and reversible” and argues that it warrants ongoing caution, despite the Family Court having broadly accepted that assertion.


O’Connor M, Madden B. In the Footsteps of Teiresias: Treatment for Gender Dysphoria in Children and the Role of the Courts. J Law Med. 2019 Oct;27(1):149-163.

‘Reluctant to prescribe’: Local clinic says women wait weeks to access abortion pill

The executive director of the SHORE Centres says many family doctors are still not prescribing the pill

CBC News

Paula Duhatschek

A local sexual health resource centre says it’s experiencing so much demand for the abortion pill, Mifegymiso, that patients often must wait two to three weeks to get it. 

Mifegymiso is the brand name for the combination of two pills that is used to terminate pregnancies—but only up to nine weeks along. . .[Full text]

Alberta medical regulator wants College of Family Physicians of Canada to help improve abortion pill access

The Globe and Mail

Carly Weeks

Alberta’s medical regulator is calling on the college representing Canada’s family doctors to help it boost prescribing rates of the abortion pill, saying the current poor access in the province is putting patients at risk . . .

. . . A Globe and Mail investigation on Saturday revealed that the majority of abortion-pill prescriptions across Canada are being written at abortion clinics, which are primarily located in large urban centres. . .[Full text]

Alabama governor signs law requiring chemical castration for some sex offender parolees

USA Today

Elinor Aspegren

Alabama’s governor signed into law legislation that requires some sexual offenders to be chemically castrated before being released on parole.

Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, signed the bill Monday. It applies to sex offenders eligible for parole after being convicted of crimes involving children under 13. . . . [Full text]

Protection of conscience bill passes in Indiana

Sean Murphy*

Indiana Senate Bill 201, proposed by Senator Liz Brown, passed the Indian Senate by a vote of 38-8 and will be sent to Goveror Eric Holcomb for signature. Existing Indiana law protects freedom of conscience for physicians, nurses and institutional employees in relation to surgical abortion. Bill 201 amends the statute to include medical abortion and extends protection to physician assistants and pharmacists.

Chamber of Pharmacists warns professionals against incorrect dispensing of Morning After Pill

Malta Independent

Rebekah Cilia

The Chamber of Pharmacists (Kamra tal-Ispizjara) has sent an email to its members stating that there is a standard question protocol that pharmacists must follow when dispensing the Morning After Pill without a prescription.

These guidelines, the email said, are professional tools and should be kept confidential.

The Chamber also noted that pharmacists should avoid engaging in public discussions on social media. “The Chamber reprimands pharmacists who do not uphold such standards bringing the profession to disrepute.” [Full text]

Home abortions ‘could see more objections from GPs and pharmacists’

BBC News

A midwife who campaigned for staff to opt out of abortion work fears plans for “at home” abortions could see a rise in objections from health staff.

Mary Doogan lost her fight to not be responsible for other colleagues involved in terminations.

She thinks the plans to allow women to take the second abortion pill at home will implicate GPs and pharmacists.

She supports a law change to extend conscientious objection to those not directly involved with the process. . . [Full Text]