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Pro-Choice News Roundup: More Clinic Closures, Native Americans Need Plan B Too, and More

Posted by Blogging Czar Lauren Kuhlik

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Native American women to have greater access to emergency contraception: Most Native Americans and Alaskan Natives get the bulk of their health care through Indian Health Services (IHS), which is managed by the federal government.  IHS does not operate retail pharmacies, which has made it difficult for Native women to access emergency contraception in a timely manner.  IHS has promised to make the drug directly available to patients, but it is not clear when or how this policy will be implemented.  In addition, IHS does not provide the drug to women under the age of 16 without a prescription—in clear violation of a ruling issued earlier this year.  [Associated Press]

Clinic closure could affect many Montana women: Mountain County Women’s Clinic, the only clinic that provides abortions within 100 miles of Bozeman, will be shutting down on October 1st.  Dr. Susan Wicklund, who ran the clinic, is choosing to retire after many years of staunch pro-choice advocacy.  There are five other women’s health clinics in Montana, but if you’ve ever driven through Montana, you know that it’s like one million miles long, so area women may not be able to access those other clinics.  [Bozeman Daily Chronicle]

 Anti-Choicers make ridiculous ads part 2: Last week, we learned that sometimes those on the right make untrue ads about women’s health care.  This week, an anti-choice group in Virginia has released an ad portraying gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe as a radical pro-abortionist.  They claim that he wants abortion to be available “on demand” and paid for by taxpayer money (not gonna happen). Let’s hope Virginians are smart enough to see right through it.  [Politico]

Gillibrand gets military support for sexual assault bill: Senator Kristen Gillibrand has been a tireless crusader for women in the military. Earlier this year, she attempted to pass a rider to a defense appropriation bill, called the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) that would have required sexual assault cases to be heard outside the victim’s chain of command.  The bill ultimately went to the floor without that rider, but Gillibrand is still mounting support for her case.  Three retired generals have agreed with Gillibrand.  If she can get enough support in the Senate, she may still be able to get the MJIA passed.  [RH Reality Check]

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