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Published: Friday, October 10, 2014 @ 6:08 AM
Updated: Friday, October 10, 2014 @ 6:08 AM
A few political ads this campaign season raise a really interesting question: Why does birth control require a prescription in the U.S.?
CORY GARDNER, Colorado candidate for Senate (R): "I believe the pill ought to be available over the counter, round the clock without a prescription."
There are politics to the debate to be sure, but we were more curious about the underlying question.
As it turns out, worldwide, the U.S. is in the minority in requiring a prescription to get the pill. Only about a third of the world's countries limit access, including Canada, Australia and Japan. Countries like China, Russia, and Mexico offer the drugs over the counter.
So what's the rationale behind requiring a prescription?
Proponents say the pill can increase women's risk for blood clots, heart attacks and stroke, especially among smokers and older women. The thinking there is — under a physician's direction, those risks are mitigated.
But many over-the-counter drugs, like aspirin, which can cause stomach bleeding, also have potentially serious risks and don't require a prescription.
On top of that, critics of the current prescription-only system argue women can do the research and decide for themselves whether they're good candidates for birth control.
Critics like The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says unplanned birth rates would likely go down in the U.S. if prescriptions were no longer required to get contraceptive pills.
In 2012, it found 60 percent of women not currently using contraceptives would begin using them if they became available over the counter.
And consider this: Sales of nicotine replacement therapies went up by 150 to 200 percent the first year they were offered without a prescription.
The Food and Drug Administration would have to approve any changes to oral contraception's prescription-required status. There aren't plans to do that yet, but as we mentioned earlier, there are a couple Republican candidates for Senate who are calling for it to happen.
Cynics will say that's a move to skirt Obamacare requirements that insurance companies completely cover the cost of birth control.
Or as two Health Affairs writers put it, "replace one barrier (ease of access) with another (cost)."
And that's why proponents of change in general say — in order to really improve access to oral contraceptives — both have to happen: Over the counter status as well as preserving the requirement insurance companies cover the cost.
Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 10:13 PM
For the second time in a week, late decisions by a pair of GOP Senators provided the margin of victory for a nominee of President Donald Trump, as after fears of a rare confirmation rebuke, Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday got in line behind the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State, setting up a vote later this week for his confirmation in the full Senate.
The key votes were delivered by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) – who last week made a late switch to help salvage the nomination of Mr. Trump’s choice to run NASA – and by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who had talked for weeks that he would never vote to shift the CIA Director over to the post of Secretary of State.
But after a late lobbying effort by President Trump, Paul stuck with the White House on Pompeo.
“I have changed my mind,” Paul said at a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Back in March when the President fired Rex Tillerson from the Secretary of State’s job, Paul had made clear he was not going to vote for Pompeo, worried the CIA chief was too set on excessively using U.S. military force around the world.
Labeling Pompeo a “neocon,” Paul had said at the time that he would not vote for the CIA chief, worried that Pompeo was too much like the Republican Party that strongly backed with war in Iraq on Saddam Hussein.
“I simply cannot support Pompeo’s nomination to be our chief diplomat,”
the Kentucky Republican made clear.
But after talks with Pompeo and the President, Paul gave in.
The late changes saved the GOP from an embarrassing foreign policy setback for the President – at a time when he is hosting the French President, and will later in the week receive the German Chancellor.
“He is extremely qualified for the position,” the President’s Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders argued for Pompeo, as she joined GOP Senators in reminding Democrats of the bipartisan votes for past Secretaries of State.
“John Kerry was confirmed 94-3. Hillary Clinton was confirmed 94-2. Condoleezza Rice was confirmed 85-13. Colin Powell was confirmed unanimously by voice vote,” Sanders told reporters.
The turn of events came hours after the President had blasted Democrats for delaying many of his nominees, by stretching out debate time on the Senate floor, leaving little time for work on legislation.
While the President accurately nicked the Democrats for slow-walking many nominations on the Senate floor, certain high-profile choices like Pompeo, Jim Bridenstine for NASA, and Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell have been held up in the Senate not because of Democrats – but because of a lack of unity among Republicans.
For example, Grenell’s nomination was sent to the Senate floor back on January 18. While Democrats did object to action in March, there has been no effort by Senate Republicans to hold a vote – which likely means there aren’t fifty votes for his nomination.
When Monday began, that was in question for Pompeo as well, but the support of Paul, Flake, and a handful of Democrats, means the President will get his Secretary of State.
“The President deserves to have a Secretary of State that agrees with him or her, in general, on a foreign policy direction,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), as he argued for Pompeo’s approval.
Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 10:05 PM
DAYTON — Police are looking for the suspect accused of breaking into Venus Nail and robbing the salon in Dayton Monday.
A police report stated surveillance video showed a male holding a pry bar and forcing the front door open to the nail salon located at 1070 Patterson Rd. around 3:30 a.m.
The man was seen on video taking the money from inside a drawer and running out of the front door, according to the report. An undisclosed amount of money was reported missing.
The suspect was wearing a black coat, a hoodie over his head and possibly gloves.
Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 3:27 PM
SHELBY COUNTY — A memorial sign was dedicated today to fallen firefighter, Michael (Mike) J. Aselage, on SR 705 at East Edge of Fort Loramie in Shelby County.
Aselage was electrocuted in the line of duty on April 2, 1975.
He served four years with the United States Coast Guard, but was discharged a year prior to his death, and was also a Probationary Member of the Fort Loramie Community Fire Company.
On April 2, 1975, Aselage came upon a downed electric power line - that was blown down by the high wind from the previous night - on Ohio St. Rt. 705.
According to the Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies, Aselage drove to the nearby home of Walter Silvers and telephoned the Sheriff's office to notify them of the power line, owned by Pioneer Rural Electric Company.
He then drove back to the scene with the intention to direct traffic around the live wires, but as he got out of his vehicle and stepped onto the ground, his vehicle touched a 7,200 volt electric line and he was electrocuted.
Robert Bunsold from Sidney, Ohio, followed Aselage to the scene to help direct the traffic, but when he came in contact with Aselage's vehicle at the same time, Bunsold was knocked unconscious to the ground.
Bunsold was transported to Wilson Memorial Hospital for treatment.
Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Bergam received earlier reports of the down power lines and was on his way to the scene when he witnessed the fatal explosion.
Members of the Fort Loramie were dispatched to the scene to extinguish the fire that occurred by the voltage, but the Fire Department had to wait until a representative from Pioneer Rural Electric Company arrived to make sure the power was off.
After power was securely off and the fire was extinguished, Aselage was removed via Ambulance.
Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 6:43 PM
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 2:10 AM
URBANA TWP. — One person is in custody and a deputy was injured after a police standoff that occurred in Champaign County Sunday evening.
Officials were called to a residence near the 100 block of East Dallas Road for a complaint around 6 p.m. When deputies arrived, a man, unrelated to the complaint call, ran, prompting officials to chase after him.
A struggle with one of the deputies occurred after they caught up with the suspect. The deputy was hit in the forehead, reportedly with handcuffs, causing injury, officials said.
With the officer down, the suspect ran inside a house on East Dallas Road with handcuffs on, barricading himself.
Police were in a standoff outside the house for over two hours, using a bullhorn urging to get the man to come outside. He eventually was brought out of the residence in handcuffs.
The deputy was taken to a local hospital. His condition is unknown.
There were more than 20 cruisers and fire vehicles at the scene, blocking the road at U.S. 68.