WBEZ | birth control http://www.wbez.org/tags/birth-control Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Supreme Court's new term: here's what to watch http://www.wbez.org/news/supreme-courts-new-term-heres-what-watch-113172 <p><p style="text-align: justify;">The United States Supreme Court opens a new term Monday, and, as always, many of the most contentious issues facing the country &mdash; including abortion, birth control coverage, public employee unions, affirmative action in higher education, voter participation &mdash; are likely to be before the court.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">But there is a difference this term. Chief Justice John Roberts, despite his overall conservative record on the bench, has become a punching bag for candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/first%20three.JPG" style="height: 749px; width: 250px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="" />Presidential candidates have often criticized the court, pledging that they would appoint a different kind of justice. It&#39;s been more than a half century, though, since politicians have put a chief justice, by name, in the cross-hairs of criticism. What is puzzling about the Roberts critique is that the right hailed this George W. Bush appointee when he was named ten years ago, and Roberts has a consistently conservative record on most issues.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">He has voted with the court&#39;s conservatives to strike down most of the legal limits on campaign spending, opening election campaigns nationwide to a flood of new cash. He has consistently supported an individual&#39;s right to bear arms. He wrote the court&#39;s opinion in the 2013 case&nbsp;<em>Shelby County v. Holder</em>, which struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He has consistently opposed any sort of racial preferences. Last term, he wrote the leading dissent when the court struck down state laws banning same-sex marriage.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">On only one flashpoint subject has he parted ways with some or all or the court&#39;s most conservative members: Obamacare.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Yet, in the first two televised debates, Republican candidates took turns pummeling him, characterizing his nomination as a grave mistake, and suggesting that Roberts follows a political path rather than a legal one. If President George W. Bush had appointed someone more conservative than Roberts, said Sen. Ted Cruz, &quot;Obamacare would have been struck down three years ago, and the marriage laws of all fifty states would be on the books.&quot;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/last2.JPG" style="text-align: justify; float: right; height: 495px; width: 250px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Never mind that Roberts actually dissented in the same-sex marriage case.&nbsp;Jeb Bush, whose brother appointed Roberts, was less strident, but suggested nonetheless that Roberts was a &quot;politically expedient&quot; choice because he was a conservative whom the Senate could confirm. And Gov. Mike Huckabee said that he would require anyone he appointed to oppose all abortions and to see religious freedom as the first of all rights.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Nobody thinks it will be easy for Chief Justice Roberts or the other justices to ignore such talk. But, the job of the chief justice is, among other things, to guard the independence of the judiciary and to preserve the court&#39;s institutional role as a dispassionate arbiter of the nation&#39;s laws and the Constitution.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Notwithstanding the critique in the GOP debates, the Roberts court is most often a conservative court. But it is closely divided, and last term, for the first time in a decade, the court&#39;s liberals prevailed in the majority of 5-to-4 rulings. They did that by picking off not just Roberts and Justice Kennedy on Obamacare, and Kennedy on same-sex marriage, but other conservative justices in other cases.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Most experts see those liberal victories, however, as a product of an idiosyncratic mix of cases. This term, the issues play much more to the strength of the court&#39;s conservatives. There are cases that could further cut back affirmative action in higher education, hobble or destroy public employee unions, and make it easier to limit voter participation in elections.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">There is a strong likelihood that the court will revisit the abortion question, as well as the issue of birth control coverage under Obamacare. &quot;The worry is, does what goes around come around,&quot; said Tom Goldstein, Supreme Court advocate and publisher of SCOTUSblog, &quot;and the writing on the wall sure seems to up there that has got the left scared &mdash; bejesus!&quot;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The court, for instance, for the first time is being asked to determine the meaning of the one-person, one-vote principle in<em>&nbsp;Evenwel v. Abbott.</em> Does it mean that state legislative districts should have the same number of people, or the same number of eligible voters? Does the population count include children, non-citizen immigrants both in the country legally and illegally, and others like those with a criminal record who are thus ineligible to vote? Or does the population count include only those eligible to vote, or even just those registered to vote?</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Virtually all state and local governments currently draw districts based on total population. But if those challenging that practice prevail, it could dramatically shift political power away from districts with lots of children and immigrants, and it would likely give Republicans a big boost in state legislative elections.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Also likely to come before the court are election cases involving strict voter ID laws and other provisions that make it more difficult to vote.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The union case,&nbsp;<em>Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association</em>, could also have huge political consequences by crippling public employee unions and possibly all unions. The case pits the practical needs of collective bargaining against the First Amendment. The nation&#39;s labor laws, as the court has interpreted them since 1977, have struck the balance this way. Once a majority of public employees vote to be represented by a union, those who choose not to join do not have to pay for the union&#39;s political activities, but they do have to pay for contract negotiations that they benefit from.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In short, they must pay their so-called &quot;fair share.&quot; Otherwise they would become free riders on the backs of those who do pay. In two recent cases, four justices, and possibly five, have suggested that requiring such fair share payments violates the nonmembers&#39; free speech rights.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Waiting in the wings at the high court are two politically incendiary cases: one involving abortion, the other birth control under Obamacare. The abortion test case will likely come from Texas, where the Republican-controlled legislature enacted strict new regulations on abortion clinics, requiring them to make costly renovations, and limiting the ability of doctors to perform abortions. The state maintains that the new law was aimed at protecting the health and safety of women. Abortion providers, backed by major medical organizations, counter that the regulations are unnecessary and that the law is in fact aimed at making abortions difficult to obtain.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The birth control case is a test of the Obamacare provision that exempts religious organizations from having to pay for birth control coverage in their health insurance plans. While churches, synagogues and the like are totally exempt, religiously affiliated organizations such as universities and hospitals are exempt only if they notify the federal government of their objections. That in turn triggers an independent mechanism to provide the coverage for those employees who want it. Some religious organizations contend that the notification requirement makes them complicit in facilitating birth control coverage and thus violates their religious principles.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/05/445885201/the-supreme-courts-new-term-heres-what-to-watch?ft=nprml&amp;f=445885201" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 09:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/supreme-courts-new-term-heres-what-watch-113172 FDA revisits safety of the Essure contraceptive device http://www.wbez.org/news/fda-revisits-safety-essure-contraceptive-device-113001 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/essure.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After their third son was born, Tisha Scott and her husband decided they were done having kids. So Scott, 34, of Drakesville, Iowa, decided to get her tubes tied.</p><p>&quot;As old married people, neither of us was really interested in using condoms for the rest of our life,&quot; Scott says. &quot;So that was the decision that we made because we knew that our family was complete.&quot;</p><p>But instead of undergoing surgical sterilization, Scott&#39;s doctor urged her to try something called&nbsp;<a href="http://www.essure.com/home?ecid=essure:ps:de:psl:psl:42005:112746">Essure</a>&nbsp;&mdash; the only nonsurgical permanent birth control option approved by the Food and Drug Administration.</p><p>Essure is a device comprising two tiny coils made of nickel-titanium alloy. Scott&#39;s doctor inserted one into each of her fallopian tubes to permanently block them. Since Essure doesn&#39;t require surgery, he said it would be a lot easier, quicker and safer.</p><p>&quot;He felt if there was no reason to do surgery then we shouldn&#39;t,&quot; Scott says.</p><p>But almost immediately after the procedure Scott started getting an excruciating burning pain in her back and pelvis. &quot;All of a sudden it hurt to have to move my body to get out of bed, to do anything,&quot; she says.</p><p>The pain got worse and spread all over her body. Despite two operations and many tests and exams, Scott says she still lives in constant pain.</p><p>&quot;It feels like you&#39;ve been hit by a truck every day of your life,&quot; she says. &quot;For me, it&#39;s been a nightmare. I mean, this device literally ruined my life.&quot;</p><div id="res441225262"><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>Scott is among thousands of<a href="http://essureproblems.webs.com/">&nbsp;women&nbsp;</a>who blame Essure for a variety of complications, including pain, heavy bleeding, fatigue, hair loss and depression.</p><p>Because of complaints, the FDA has asked a panel of outside experts to take another look at Essure during a public&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/Calendar/ucm455642.htm">hearing</a>&nbsp;on Thursday.<br /><br />&quot;This device has been sold to tens of thousands &mdash; probably hundreds of thousands &mdash; of women as a very safe and easy way to permanently end any concerns about pregnancy,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://center4research.org/about-us/key-staff/">Diana Zuckerman</a>, who heads the&nbsp;<a href="http://center4research.org/">National Center for Health Research</a>, a Washington-based watchdog group that has been studying Essure. &quot;We know that&#39;s not accurate,&quot; she says.</p><p>Zuckerman says that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bayer.com/">Bayer,</a>&nbsp;the company that makes Essure, didn&#39;t fully inform the FDA about the problems the device can cause when it got the device&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/EssurePermanentBirthControl/default.htm">approved</a>&nbsp;in 2002. And while Essure is supposed to be 99 percent effective, Zuckerman says recent&nbsp;<a href="http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/pb/assets/raw/Health%20Advance/journals/contra/CON-8309-FINAL.pdf">research&nbsp;</a>suggests it may actually fail about 10 percent of the time.</p><p>&quot;What we&#39;d like to see is new research that&#39;s carefully monitored that can actually tell us how often women have these serious complications from Essure and how often the product does not work to prevent pregnancy. That&#39;s what we really need,&quot; Zuckerman says.</p><p>Officials at Bayer defend the device.</p><p>&quot;There&#39;s a significant amount of data out there regarding the safety and efficacy of Essure,&quot; says Edio Zampaglione, the company&#39;s vice president for women&#39;s health care.</p><p>Zampaglione acknowledges that the device can cause complications, but says they only occur rarely.</p><p>&quot;What we believe and feel is that these women represent the small percentage of women who have had a bad experience with it,&quot; Zampaglione says. &quot;There&#39;s nothing that we do or take in the medical world that is 100 percent adverse-event free,&quot; he says.</p><p>For most women, Zampaglione says, getting sterilized with Essure is quick, easy, safe and totally reliable. That was the case for Jennifer Jenkins, 33, of Dallas. She got Essure about two years ago during a quick stop at her doctor&#39;s office on her way to work.</p><p>&quot;I had no problems,&quot; Jenkins says. &quot;My husband likes to say the only side effect I&#39;ve experienced is that I haven&#39;t been able to get pregnant, which has been a good thing.&quot;</p><p><em>An&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/07/14/421745255/safety-worries-lead-fda-to-take-another-look-at">earlier story&nbsp;</a>on the questions surrounding Essure ran in Shots in July.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/21/438651575/fda-hears-women-s-complaints-that-the-essure-contraceptive-device-is-harmful?ft=nprml&amp;f=438651575" target="_blank"> via NPR</a></em></p></p> Mon, 21 Sep 2015 09:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/fda-revisits-safety-essure-contraceptive-device-113001 Morning Shift: The constant evolution of our speech http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-01-22/morning-shift-constant-evolution-our-speech-111432 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/cover Calamity Meg.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We discuss the ever-changing way words sound and how they are used in the English language. We get a former Chicago Bear&#39;s perspective on allegations of painkiller abuse on the &#39;85 team. And, we talk birth control in the Catholic Church.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-2017/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-2017.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-2017" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: The constant evolution of our speech" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 08:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-01-22/morning-shift-constant-evolution-our-speech-111432 Morning Shift: New book details the history of contraceptives http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-11-10/morning-shift-new-book-details-history-contraceptives-111083 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/COMMUNICATIONSCDDEP.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We talk to the author of a new book that tells the history of birth control. And, we recap the Bears vs. Packers game. Plus, the sounds of Italian composer and pianist, Ludovico Einaudi.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-92/embed?header=false&border=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-92.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-92" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: New book details the history of contraceptives " on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 10 Nov 2014 08:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-11-10/morning-shift-new-book-details-history-contraceptives-111083 Firm wins some relief from birth control mandate http://www.wbez.org/sections/religion/firm-wins-some-relief-birth-control-mandate-104706 <p><p>A federal judge in Chicago has temporarily blocked the U.S. government from requiring an Illinois for-profit company to provide its workers with health insurance that covers birth control.</p><p>Judge Amy St. Eve granted a preliminary injunction Thursday to the Oak Brook-based company, Triune Health Group.</p><p>The company&#39;s claim is one of dozens of similar lawsuits filed across the country. Mandatory coverage for contraception has been among the most controversial parts of President Barack Obama&#39;s health care law.</p><p>Company owners Christopher and Mary Anne Yep say the law&#39;s requirement for contraceptive coverage for women violates their Roman Catholic beliefs.</p><p>The company&#39;s current group health plan covers contraceptives, sterilization and abortion for about 48 employees and their dependents. The Yeps say they are seeking an employee insurance policy that excludes such coverage.</p></p> Fri, 04 Jan 2013 13:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/sections/religion/firm-wins-some-relief-birth-control-mandate-104706 Plan B push for young teenage girls http://www.wbez.org/news/plan-b-push-young-teenage-girls-104029 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/morning after pill.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The so-called morning after pill may soon be a lot easier for young teenage girls to get their hands on. Currently, only those who are 17 and older can buy emergency contraceptives over-the-counter.<br /><br />The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging doctors to offer contraceptives, like Plan B, &nbsp;to all adolescents---regardless of age. The Chicago-based AAP said teen pregnancies have significantly decreased over the past two decades. But the U.S. still has the highest birth rate in adolescents compared to all other developed countries.<br /><br />&ldquo;We think the reason that it hasn&rsquo;t affected the rate of teen pregnancy is because kids don&rsquo;t know about it, teenagers don&rsquo;t know about emergency contraception,&rdquo; said professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at Seattle Children&rsquo;s Hospital at the University of Washington, Cora Breuner.<br /><br />&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t actually know if that would reduce teen pregnancy because there&rsquo;s no data showing that advanced prescription will reduce it,&rdquo; Breuner said. &ldquo;But we do know that when you do prescribe it, teenagers will use it, as oppose to many of the drugs that we write prescriptions for and people don&rsquo;t fill, this one, they do.&rdquo;<br /><br />Melissa Gilliam, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics at the University of Chicago, said teenage pregnancy is a complex issue that will require many steps to solve. In one week, Gilliam said she treated three 12-year-old girls who were all sexually active. &nbsp;<br /><br />&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know that we&rsquo;ll actually see big changes due to this, however, it represents a very important step in the right direction, which is acknowledging adolescent behavior,&rdquo; Gilliam said. &ldquo;And instead of saying, &#39;Oh we don&rsquo;t want to talk about this because we wish it didn&rsquo;t exist,&#39; to actually try and have very realistic and practical approaches to preventing teen pregnancy.&rdquo;<br /><br />The AAP is pushing for emergency contraceptives to be available over-the-counter to adolescents of all ages and for pediatricians to offer advanced prescriptions and education to their patients.<br /><br />The recommendation was published in a policy paper today.</p></p> Mon, 26 Nov 2012 17:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/plan-b-push-young-teenage-girls-104029 'Archaic, revolutionary': An OBGYN's complicated feelings on the pill http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/archaic-revolutionary-obgyns-complicated-feelings-pill-98544 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/6715866381_1bd934f369_z.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 225px; " title="An original package of Ovral birth control pills. (Flickr/Benjamin Stone)">The terms pro-choice and pro-life are so common in our current political discourse that they barely need an explaination. But as the 2012 election cycle heats up, it seems the use of the word "choice" as the terminology of women's reproductive rights appears firmly planted in discussions about abortion only.</p><p>Dr. Crystal Goldsmith joins <em>The Paper Machete</em> this week to provide the history of a form of birth control so popular it got its own nickname, and argues that "choice doesn’t just mean 'abortion.' It means having options for contraception and support in obtaining those options."</p><p>Read an excerpt or listen:</p><p><em>"Every morning, as a doctor -- an OBGYN -- I get to go upstairs and I get to make my post-partum rounds and I check on all my patients who just had lovely little babies and I say the same thing to all of them: What can I get you for birth control?' And invariably there is some woman -- many women -- who say, 'Um, I think I'm just going to use the pill.' And this makes me want to gauge my eyes out.</em></p><p><em>And I look at her and I smile and I say, 'Okay, you just had your third C-section in three years, but I will </em>happily <em>write you that prescription for the pill...although there are some better options.'&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>It's true. As an OBGYN, hearing women say they want to use the pill is sometimes like hearing nails on a chalkboard.</em></p><p><em>The pill is archaic. It’s cumbersome. And women are notoriously bad at taking it.</em></p><p><em>And nonetheless, despite all that baggage, it's pretty darn revolutionary.</em>"</p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 27 Apr 2012 05:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/archaic-revolutionary-obgyns-complicated-feelings-pill-98544 Dold: Obama 'over-stepped' on birth control mandate http://www.wbez.org/story/dold-obama-over-stepped-birth-control-mandate-96362 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-13/photo(4).JPG" alt="" /><p><p>U.S. Rep. Robert Dold, R-Ill., said Monday the President over-stepped by forcing religious institutions to provide birth control for employees.</p><p>Barack Obama announced a compromise last week that would let certain religious institutions object to providing contraceptives on religious principles. Under the president's compromise, birth control would instead be covered directly by the insurance companies rather than through religious institutions.</p><p>The north suburban congressman said he's waiting to see if the White House will compromise more on the mandate.</p><p>"We'll see how that moves forward in terms of if there's going to be more in terms of a compromise," said Dold. "I think this is going to be about freedom of religion, freedom of speech, those types of things on the first amendment."</p><p>The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement Friday opposing the revised measure.</p></p> Mon, 13 Feb 2012 22:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/dold-obama-over-stepped-birth-control-mandate-96362 Chicago Archdiocese: Tweak to birth control mandate a first step http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-archdiocese-tweak-birth-control-mandate-first-step-96298 <p><p>Chicago's Catholic Archdiocese is not yet endorsing President Barack Obama's compromise on forcing religious institutions to provide birth control for employees.</p><p>Mr. Obama announced Friday that certain institutions can object on religious principle to directly provide birth control. In those cases, health insurance companies would be responsible for providing that care.</p><p>Father William Grogan, Vicar for Healthcare at the Chicago Archdiocese, said the Archdiocese stands by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which, in a written statement said they take the announcement as a first step but continue to have concerns.</p><p>Father Grogan couldn’t specify what those particular concerns are, but said they likely result "from the fact that the president made a very sincere but general statement.” He added that they want to see how the proposals will work out in detail going forward.</p><p>Cardinal Francis George recently criticized the regulation in a letter saying, "We cannot - we will not - comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens because of their religious beliefs." Although that letter was written prior to Friday’s announcement by Mr. Obama, it has been distributed to churches in the Archdiocese. Priests will be reading that letter out loud to parishioners at Sunday mass.</p></p> Fri, 10 Feb 2012 22:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-archdiocese-tweak-birth-control-mandate-first-step-96298 Fifty years ago in the U.K., birth control transformed sex lives, mores http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-03/fifty-years-ago-uk-birth-control-transformed-sex-lives-mores-95241 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-03/p00lw93y_640_360.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On December 4, 1961, the contraceptive pill became widely available for the first time in the United Kingdom. For married women, this meant reliable, convenient family planning. For unmarried women, it meant unprecedented sexual freedom.</p><p>The BBC's Claire Bowes talks to the writer Michelene Wandor, who was a student at Cambridge University in 1961, about this turning point in reproductive health.</p><p><em>This piece orignially aired on the BBC World Service.</em></p></p> Tue, 03 Jan 2012 17:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-03/fifty-years-ago-uk-birth-control-transformed-sex-lives-mores-95241