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Senate Switchboard..................(800) 382-9467
House Switchboard...................(800) 382-9842

Date:    Thu, 27 Feb 2003 17:45:16 -0500 (EST)  

Dear Bernadine:

The Texas Campaign for Emergency Contraception was launched at the Texas
Legislature today!  Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) filed HB 1381, to enable
Texas women to access emergency contraception (EC) pills directly through their
pharmacists.  This means that Texas women can "back up their birth control"
pills with EC in case they face an unintended pregnancy.

ACTION REQUESTED:  Help us get Co-authors for the Emergency Contraception (EC)
Access Bill:

Please call or email your Representative and ask them to support HB 1381, the
Emergency Contraception Access Bill, by
becoming a "co-author" of the bill.  To find out who your State Rep. is, go to  

Below are talking points you can use when contacting your Representative.  

We need the Emergency Contraception Access Bill because:

*  The first dose of EC must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. 
Pharmacists can provide evening and weekend access to EC.

*  A doctor's prescription is currently required for EC.  Women may have trouble
obtaining a doctor's appointment and prescription within 72 hours of unprotected
intercourse.  This bill will remove that barrier, providing easy access to safe,
effective contraception.

*  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) endorses
over-the-counter distribution of EC to reduce the number of unintended
pregnancies and abortions in the U.S.

*  Through collaborative agreements with physicians, pharmacists can already
directly provide immunizations, smoking cessation medication, and other

*  Three states currently allow pharmacists to dispense EC directly (AK, CA,

Background on EC:

*  Formerly known as the "Morning After Pill," EC is a high dose of ordinary
birth control pills that prevents pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of
unprotected intercourse.

*  EC should not be confused with RU-486 (also known as the French Abortion Pill
or mifepristone), which is an abortifacient that terminates pregnancy.  EC
prevents pregnancy instead of terminating pregnancy.

*  Emergency contraception (EC) has the potential to reduce the number of
unintended pregnancies and abortions in the U.S. by 50%, yet only 1 in 10 women
between the ages of 18 and 44 have heard of and know the key facts critical to
using EC pills.

*  An estimated 27,000 condoms break or slip every 24 hours in the U.S.,
potentially causing thousands of unintended pregnancies.  EC would help prevent
these pregnancies.

*  Access to EC is especially important to survivors of sexual assault, who cite
fear of pregnancy as one of their leading concerns.

Thank you!

The Staff at TARAL

Texas Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League
PO Box 684602, Austin, TX 78768
Tel. 512.462.1661
FAX: 512.462.2007, Email:

Most of these were copied from FEMNET.


Malaysia May Decriminalize Abortion For Rape Victims,
But Women's Groups Say Plan Ignores Broader Issues

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysia's government
isconsidering changing its laws to let rape or incest
victims have abortions - a crime in this mostly Muslim
country.   Click Here

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Passes

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Anti-abortion forces in the House
once again pushed through a ban on a specific abortion
procedure despite past legislative failures, court
challenges and an uncertain future in the Senate.
Click Here

New WHO Publication Explores Important Links Between
Health And Human Rights, An Area Drawing Increased

(WHO) -- Human rights violations such as
discrimination or violence against women and children
and harmful traditional practices can have serious
health consequences.  Protecting human rights,
however, can reduce vulnerability to and the impact of
ill health.  (CLICK HERE)

Feminists Congratulate Nancy Pelosi on Making History in U.S. Congress;
Praise Democrats For Choosing Liberal Leader
November 14, 2002

"Rep. Nancy Pelosi took another giant step today, not just for women in Congress but for all women," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "She has shattered the glass ceiling in the House."

As Minority Leader, Pelosi will be the number one Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives. One of the strongest women's rights supporters in the House, Pelosi easily beat Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee, who advocated moving the Democratic party farther to the right.

"Pelosi is exactly what the Democratic party needs right now," said Gandy. "The 2002 elections demonstrated that the party has lost its way. Nancy Pelosi can help bring the party back to its roots."

"After the disappointment of last week's election results, feminists are encouraged by the Democrats' support for a leader who represents human interests over corporate interests," said Gandy. "We need a strong voice to help move women's rights forward in a Republican-controlled Congress -- Rep. Pelosi will fill that role."

"She is opening doors that will someday lead to a woman in the White House," Gandy concluded.

CONTACT: REBECCA FARMER, 202-628-8669 ext. 116