Swiss bishops permit ECPs for rape cases

It was decided at the Swiss Catholic Bishops Conference that women who have been raped may use Emergency Contraception, echoing similar rulings made recently by German bishops. However, the Swiss bishops confused the issue by stating that EC can only be used when there is a contraceptive effect and not when it induces an abortion, incorrectly implying that EC pills may potentially cause an abortion. (Scientific research shows that Emergency Contraceptive pills only work by preventing fertilization from occurring, therefore even under the Church’s definition of pregnancy as beginning at the moment of conception, EC can only have a contraceptive effect and cannot induce an abortion.) The article reports that the Bishops’ decision to allow women who have been raped to use EC was based on the recommendation of the Conference’s Bioethics Committee and that “rape is an act of violence which transgresses the fundamental rights of women and cannot be accepted.”

German bishops support EC for rape victims

In a welcome announcement, Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne, Germany stated that he supported the use of Emergency Contraception in Catholic hospitals to treat rape victims since it did not induce abortions. This statement comes after two Catholic hospitals in Germany received widespread negative press after refusing to treat a female rape victim because they could not prescribe EC or counsel on abortion. Meisner’s announcement is especially notable because he is known for his outspoken conservative views. Apparently, Meisner changed his view after learning from scientists that EC pills prevent fertilization. According to Meisner, “if a medication that hinders conception is used after a rape with the purpose of avoiding fertilization, then this is acceptable in my view.”

Center for Reproductive Rights releases fact sheet on contraceptive access in the European Union

The Center for Reproductive Rights recently released a fact sheet titled
Access to Contraceptives in the European Union: Human Rights, Barriers and Good Practices,” which outlines different barriers to access in the region and highlights some examples considered best practices. Although states are obligated under international law to provide women with access to a full range of contraceptives and contraceptive information, and although most countries in the European Union include contraceptives in their public health and social policies, access still remains an issue in some Member States. As the Center explains, “this factsheet is intended to serve as a resource for those interested in understanding the human rights laws and policies, barriers, and good practices relating to contraceptive access in the European Union.”

ECEC goes to Copenhagen

ECEC will be attending the European Society of Contraception and
Reproductive Health’s first global conference on contraception, reproductive
and sexual health in May in Copenhagen, Denmark. The sessions that are
specifically focused on emergency contraception are highlighted below:

Friday, 24 May 2013
16:30 – 17:30 Sponsored Symposium HRA PharmaThe unpredictable
ovulation: critical in evolution and central in emergency contraception

Saturday, 25 May 2013
08:30 – 10:00 Educational Session 3Emergency contraception

Click the link below for more information on the conference and registration: