Monday, August 01, 2005

Wisconsin to ban birth control on college campuses?

I read on TGW this morning that the Wisconsin Assembly has passed a bill forbidding UW campuses from prescribing or dispensing birth control. Assembly Bill 343 states,
(b) No person whom the board employs or with whom the board contracts to provide health care services to students registered in the system may advertise the availability of, transmit a prescription order for, or dispense a hormonal medication or combination of medications that is administered only after sexual intercourse for the postcoital control of fertility to a registered student or to any other person entitled to receive university health care services.
(c) In addition to the prohibition under par. (b), no person may advertise, prescribe, or dispense a hormonal medication or combination of medications that is administered only after sexual intercourse for the postcoital control of fertility on system property, except for property leased under s.233.04.

At first glance, this language might seem to prohibit the prescribing or dispensing of emergency contraception only, not "regular" birth control. A statement by UW-River Falls' director of student health, however, outlines concerns that this bill could also prohibit the prescription of other oral contraceptives (same drug, different doses). The Wisconsin Attorney General also released an opinion on the legislation, including the statement that the legislation was sufficiently vague to also prohibit other contraceptives.

The bill now moves to the Wisconsin Senate; this story indicates that the Governor has stated that he will ban the measure if it passes the Senate.

A good summary of the situation is available here - the opinion piece clearly outlines some of the reasons this is problematic. It also points out that part of the idea behind the bill was the assumption that providing EC promoted promiscuity. Apparently UW women, who I suspect are largely 18+, are responsible enough to make decisions about going to war, voting, driving, attending college, etc., but not enough to be trusted with their bodies and sexual lives.

Meanwhile, UW-Madison reports that at least 13 forcible sexual offenses occured on campus in 2004.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin also released a statment on the legislation, and provides a list of their WI health centers.
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1 Comments:

Anonymous hanni said...

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6:07 AM  

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