Coming Soon: A More Effective Emergency Contraception

new-contraceptive-pill-ellaAnother tool for the prevention of unintended pregnancy has recently been approved by the FDA: ulipristal acetate (marketed under the brand name ella®), a type of emergency contraception that can be taken up to five days after unprotected sexual intercourse. The medication is already in use in Europe, and the FDA conducted its own clinical trials before approving it as a prescription contraceptive on August 13. Ella was found to be safe and effective, and better at preventing pregnancy than current forms of emergency contraception, such as Plan B.

While Plan B can be taken up to three days after unprotected intercourse, its effectiveness is dependent upon how soon it is taken after sex. Plan B taken immediately after unprotected intercourse is more effective than when it is taken three days afterward. Ella, on the other hand, has been found to be just as effective on the fifth day as it is on the first day. According to the New York Times:

Women who have unprotected intercourse have about 1 chance in 20 of becoming pregnant. Those who take Plan B within three days cut that risk to about 1 in 40, while those who take ella would cut that risk to about 1 in 50, regulators say. Studies show that ella is less effective in obese women.  Continue reading

Do You Know Where to Vote on Tuesday?

This year’s elections will help decide whether Arizona government will continue to be dominated by ideological extremists who view women’s health care and sex education as anti-family. You have a part in this decision. But do you know how to find your polling location?

Go to the Arizona Secretary of State’s website and enter your zip code to find your polling location. Quick. Simple. And oh, so important. Don’t forget to take a look at the list of pro-choice candidates who have received an endorsement from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona. It’s time for us to take our legislature back. It’s time to vote pro-choice!

Don’t forget: you must provide identification at the polls to receive a ballot. Please click here for details about acceptable forms of identification. If you still have an Early Ballot – complete it and take it to any polling place on Election Day.

If you are interested in helping our Get Out the Vote efforts by volunteering with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, please email advocate@ppaz.org.

Join Planned Parenthood’s Community Action Team

PPAZ volunteers raising awareness

PPAZ volunteers raising awareness

Are you tired of all the anti-choice legislation that has been passed in the Arizona legislature? Then do something about it! Planned Parenthood’s Community Action Team is in need of pro-choice advocates to help defend reproductive rights in Arizona. We’ve got two volunteer orientation dates coming up in the next few weeks.

When: Tuesday, August 31, 6:00-8:00pm
Where: PHOENIX: Planned Parenthood Admin Office

When: Tuesday, September 7, 6:00-8:00pm
Where: TUCSON: Planned Parenthood Admin Office

To attend either of these new volunteer orientations, please contact Emily, Planned Parenthood Arizona’s Advocacy Coordinator, at advocate@ppaz.org.

Volunteering for Planned Parenthood Arizona is a great opportunity to raise your pro-choice voice, and meet a few fabulous friends along the way.  I started volunteering for PPAZ in 2009, first as a clinic escort in Phoenix, and then as a member of the Community Action Team in Tucson.  Blogging is just one way I am using my pro-choice voice.  I also do regular data entry shifts and help with phone banking, where we call Planned Parenthood supporters to educate them about pro-choice issues.  I would volunteer for PPAZ even if Emily, our volunteer supervisor, didn’t feed us or play rockin’ dance tunes during our shifts, but it certainly helps. Continue reading

PPAA Endorses Jack Jackson, Jr. for State Senate

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona has endorsed Jack Jackson, Jr. for State Senate in Legislative District 2.  Jackson is a member of the Navajo Nation, from the Near The Water (Tó’áhaní) Clan, and born for the Towering House (Kinyaa’áanii) Clan. His maternal grandfather is from the Water’s Edge (Tábąąhá) Clan, and his paternal grandfather is from the Salt (Áshįįhí) Clan. He was born and raised on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. Jackson is a lifelong Democrat who served as a delegate to both the 2004 and 2008 Democratic Conventions.

After obtaining his Juris Doctorate degree from the Syracuse University School of Law in 1989, Jackson moved to Washington, DC where he worked for 12 years representing tribal governments and organizations. In 1997, Jackson became the Director of Governmental Affairs for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest, largest, and most representative Indigenous advocacy organization in the nation.

Jack Jackson, Jr. is also a strong advocate for choice and sexual health. On February 2, 2010, Jackson was appointed to serve on President Obama’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He previously sat on President Clinton’s HIV/AIDS Council in 1999. He has also served on the boards of the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center, and Phoenix Body Positive. As a member of the Arizona State House of Representatives in 2003-2004, Jackson voted against restrictions that would have limited access to abortion. Continue reading

How Do AZ Voters Know Which District They Live In?

The Arizona voter guides arrived in mailboxes last month. As I started to review the candidates’ statements, I realized that I didn’t know which candidates I was supposed to vote for. What legislative district am I in?

There are two simple ways for voters to find out which district they live in. The Arizona Legislature’s website will help you identify your legislative district – all you have to do is enter you address into their search menu. The Arizona Secretary of State’s website allows you to do a similar search, but it provides additional information. Do you know where to go to cast your ballot? This site will give you the address for your polling place.

Don’t forget to mark you calendars. The Arizona primary election is on Tuesday, August 24. Who will you vote for? To find the list of candidates endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, click over to our website. And stay tuned for in-depth coverage of Arizona’s pro-choice candidates.

Pro-Choice Medical Students Demand Increased Training in Abortion

The July 18, 2010 issue of The New York Times Magazine has an informative article titled “The New Abortion Providers,” which puts the spotlight on upcoming doctors and the need to include abortion-care training in medical school curricula.

As the article points out, in 1973 more than 80 percent of the nation’s abortion facilities were located within hospitals; by 1996 more than 90 percent of abortions were taking place in clinics. The move from hospitals to free-standing clinics made the abortion provider more vulnerable. This weakness was exploited by groups such as Operation Rescue, whose tactics include the harassment of doctors, as well as terrorists who single out abortion providers for assassination.

While the first post-Roe generation of abortion providers was motivated by their exposure to infections and deaths following self-induced or illegal abortions, today’s crop of medical students does not generally have firsthand experience with such horrors. In the years following the Roe v. Wade decision, the number of abortion providers has been on the decline; this move away from mainstream medicine has led to the disappearance of abortion training in residency programs. Currently more than half of U.S. abortion providers are over the age of 50, which is indicative of the need for more trained medical students. Continue reading

Rev. Mike Smith: Progressive Christianity and a History of Pro-Choice Activism

He may no longer have the beard and shoulder-length brown hair that adorned his head in the 1970s, but Reverend Mike Smith hasn’t lost any of his enthusiasm for social justice and reproductive rights. For four decades, Smith has been a stalwart pro-choice advocate, and those in Southern Arizona who have worked with him have been inspired by his indomitable spirit.

Smith’s personal connection to the fight for reproductive rights began when he was a seminary student in California. In 1965, he took part in the march from Selma to Montgomery that is considered by many to be the climactic event of the Civil Rights Movement. This experience opened his eyes to the potential clergy have to make the world a more humane place, and for Smith, the struggle for civil rights encompassed reproductive freedom. “Out of the civil rights movement and the women’s movement, abortion was just an obvious part of that for me,” says Smith. Continue reading