Monday, March 27, 2023

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Mobilizing Georgia voters in a non-election year is crucial for voting rights groups, Philadelphians over 50 will play a major role in the mayoral primary, and the EPA is finalizing a new air quality rule.

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Michigan becomes the first state in decades to repeal a "right to work" law, death penalty opponents say President Biden is not keeping campaign promises to halt federal executions, and more states move to weaken child labor protection laws.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

OTC Birth Control Urged as CVS, Walgreens Plan to Sell Abortion Pill

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Tuesday, January 10, 2023   

CVS and Walgreens have announced they will sell abortion medication at pharmacies, after the FDA announced it is allowing mifepristone to be bought over the counter with a prescription. Advocates are applauding the move, and said over-the-counter birth control access would help more women take control of their reproductive health.

Victoria Nichols, project director with a group called Free the Pill, said women often have to take time off from work or school or find transportation or child care to get into a doctor's office to get a prescription.

"Bringing a birth-control pill over the counter would really address some of the unnecessary hoops that folks have to jump through to get to a clinic visit to get a provider to give them a prescription," Nichols said.

Research from KFF finds that overall, contraceptive care is currently falling short nationwide when it comes to access, cost, and patients' needs and preferences.

Nichols added the FDA is currently considering proposals for over-the-counter or "OTC" birth-control pills.

"Right now we know of two companies that are pursuing an RX-to-OTC switch. One is focused on a progestin-only pill, and the other is focused on a combined oral contraceptive," she said.

Last fall, Kentucky voters rejected anti-abortion ballot measure Amendment 2.

Joseph Hammer, a Lexington resident and volunteer for Showing up for Racial Justice, said he talked with Kentuckians from across the political aisle about the right to an abortion, and recounts the story of speaking at length on the phone with one pro-life resident.

"I say, 'So, can you commit to voting no on constitutional Amendment 2 in November?' And he said he would vote no. And so this is a self-identified conservative pro-life guy voting no. And that's why this amendment was defeated," Hammer said.

Volunteers headquartered in Jefferson and Boyd counties made more than 100,000 calls to Kentuckians, and held more than 20,000 thousand conversations with voters.


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