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Your Tuesday in reproductive health:

  • A hospital in Tarzana, CA, just outside of Santa Monica, has banned all elective birth control procedures. This includes not just pregnancy termination, but measures such as tubal ligations for vasectomies; a procedure that, until this decision, the hospital performed about an average of seven times a month. According to KTLA news in Los Angeles, Providence Health System bought the hospital in September and has now implemented a policy that adheres to Catholic teachings prohibiting abortions and surgical methods of birth control on hospital property.
  • Although perhaps they should have listened to Frank K. Flinn, Ph.D., adjunct professor of religious studies in Arts & Sciences at Washington University, and author of the Encyclopdia of Catholicism (2007). He argues that the Catholic Church has not, in fact, always been opposed to abortion, but rather that its position has been an evolving one. He also points to Joe Biden as proof that there are many ways of interpreting Catholic theology when it comes to reproductive health(via).
  • And finally, we can add yet another option to the multi-faceted birth control fray: Barr Pharmaceuticals has announced FDA approval for its newest pill, low-hormone Seasonique (or LoSeasonique). The pill boasts its period reduction qualities, claiming women who take it will only have 4 periods a year. For an interesting take on why pharmaceutical companies market birth control with language on period reduction and not, say, contraceptive effectiveness, please see Sarah Haskins.

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