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Report: Teen Use of Morning-After Pill is Climbing

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In this May 2, 2013, file photo, pharmacist Simon Gorelikov holds a generic emergency contraceptive at the Health First Pharmacy in Boston. More than 1 in 5 sexually active teen girls have used the morning-after pill — a dramatic increase that likely reflects that it's easier now for teens to buy the emergency contraceptive, according to a report released Wednesday, July 22, 2015. The finding comes from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey that's considered the government's best source of information on teen sex and contraception use. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

In this May 2, 2013, file photo, pharmacist Simon Gorelikov holds a generic emergency contraceptive at the Health First Pharmacy in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 1 in 5 sexually active teen girls have used the morning-after pill — a dramatic increase that likely reflects that it’s easier now for teens to buy the emergency contraceptive.

A report released Wednesday shows teen use of the morning-after pill rose steadily from a decade earlier, when it was 1 in 12. Now, all teens can buy it without a prescription.

The finding comes from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey that’s considered the government’s best source of information on teen sex and contraception use.

The report showed little recent change in most other types of birth control used by teen girls who have had sex. Almost all said they said they’ve used condoms at some point, and more than half have used the pill.

The fact that more teen girls bought the morning-after pill after it became more accessible is a sign that “teens, like adults, often are not very good at contraception,” said Bill Albert, chief program officer for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

“In the battle between sex and sex with contraception, sex often wins,” he said.

The morning-after pill contains a higher dose of the female hormone progestin than is in regular birth control pills. It can cut the chances of pregnancy by nearly 90 percent if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. Starting in 2006, teens 18 and older could buy it over the counter; age limits were lifted two years ago. It typically costs $35 to $50.

The CDC report is based on interviews with about 2,000 people, ages 15 to 19 from 2011 to 2013.

One of the report’s main findings has been the proportion of teens who said they’ve had sex. Those figures steadily fell from the late 1980s until the early 2000s — a decrease commonly attributed to improved sex education and greater concern by teens about AIDS and other sexually spread diseases.

Experts believe a decline in teen sexual activity and better contraception use have driven an astounding drop in teen birth rates since 1991.

But the decrease in teen sex leveled off about a decade ago, at about 45 percent for both boys and girls, and there was no change in the latest report. In 1988, it was 60 percent for boys and 51 percent for girls.

Why did the decline level off? It’s hard to say, but there will always be a sizable proportion of teens who have sex, Albert said.

“Are we likely to get to 30 percent? Probably not,” he said.

___

Online:

CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Community

Walgreens Exiting East Oakland Because Medicare and Medicaid Customers Don’t Generate Enough ‘Green’ for $140 Billion Corporation

The councilmembers of District 7 and District 6 joined with more than 2,500 neighborhood petitioners to condemn the less than one month notice.

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Walgreens 8102 International Blvd, Oakland, Calif./Yellow Pages

Oakland City Councilmembers Treva Reid and Loren Taylor announced that they will press Walgreen’s to abandon their plans to close their pharmacy by July 29 at 8102 International Boulevard.

The councilmembers of District 7 and District 6 joined with more than 2,500 neighborhood petitioners to condemn the less than one month notice.

Taylor and Reid pointed out that Walgreens’ lease still has six month remaining before its expiration in January 2022.

They denounced the abandonment of seniors, especially those who reside at Allen Temple Arms across the street from the pharmacy.

“We are disheartened that in the midst of the pandemic, with many health disparities in diagnoses and with the next available pharmacy located miles away, they are furthering the health crisis,” said Reid. “With all the nurses and medical personnel that patronize this pharmacy they were disrespected to hear of the closing by way of second-hand social media postings. We will continue to pursue this issue at the local, regional and national levels to find other ways to solve this problem.”

Taylor said Walgreens exacerbated the pain of the closing by giving the reason that the high percentage of low-income Medicare and Medicaid patients who get their prescriptions filled results in a lower profit margin for the corporation worth $140 billion. He also pointed out how they were making a mockery of their mission statement which is to “Champion the health and well-being of every community in America.”

Taylor and Reid presented the following fact sheet that answers the questions asked of Walgreens:

So why is Walgreens closing?…

  • The first reason they gave was the rent… After speaking with the property owner I learned that Walgreens asked for close to a 50% reduction of rent and to lock that in for double-digit years, something that the property owner couldn’t afford. In addition, I learned that Walgreens still has six months left on their lease during which they will continue paying their rent.  If Walgreens is obligated to pay its lease through January (even if it chooses not to renew that lease) why close six months early?
  • The second reason they gave was the ‘shrinkage’ – a portion of which is due to theft.  We know this is a problem across the state. The representatives from Walgreens that we talked to this morning admitted that the shrinkage rates due to theft are not as high as in San Francisco where they are closing stores.  This is a problem across the state – even to the point that Gov. (Gavin) Newsom just yesterday (July 22) signed into law a bill extending a program that allows the California Highway Patrol to operate regional task forces to fight organized retail theft with other law enforcement agencies.
  • The third reason that they gave is that the high percentage of Medicaid/ Medicare patients leads to lower profit margins because the state reimbursement is not as high as private insurance.  This reason squarely places low-income residents of California in the crosshairs of any corporate decision to close stores and reduce services.  I reject this rationale for a store closure – especially from a healthcare company where we know in a managed care environment, we must balance the higher profit services with the lower-profit services so that in aggregate we support all residents/ patients.
  • Taylor said, “I stand here today with my fellow Councilmember, Treva Reid, in whose district we stand and she and I represent districts and a population of residents who are often cast aside and marginalized. Districts that still suffer from the effects of institutionalized racism, redlining, white flight and the war on drugs. A true partnership to champion the health and well-being of every community does not occur when a unilateral decision is made to close a store without more than a few weeks’ notice through a sign being posted on a window alerting customers to the closure.

My office was not proactively engaged by Walgreens, and in fact I found out about this based on a Facebook post by a resident who took a picture of the sign.  The communication that came to me through a Walgreens District Manager was that the property owner was being unreasonable.”

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Community

Gov. Newsom Statement on Proposed $26 Billion National Opioid Settlement

“If approved, this settlement agreement would provide an important investment in opioid treatment and prevention. The agreement would also require the industry to make important changes to help combat this epidemic.”

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Pills on a spoon with a wooden bottom and white background; Photo courtesy of Michael Longmire via Unsplash

Governor Gavin Newsom released on July 21 the below statement on the proposed $26 billion settlement announced by California Attorney General Rob Bonta and state attorneys general across the country to resolve investigations and litigation over the role of major pharmaceutical companies in America’s devastating opioid epidemic.

The proposed settlement with opioid distributors Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen and manufacturer Johnson & Johnson will provide relief for Americans suffering with addiction and includes important changes to the industry to combat the opioid epidemic.

“California strongly supports continued investment in combatting the devastation that our communities have suffered because of the opioid epidemic,” said Newsom. “The opioid epidemic continues to pose a serious threat to the health of Californians. In 2019, California experienced nearly 12,000 opioid-related emergency department visits and more than 3,000 deaths.

“If approved, this settlement agreement would provide an important investment in opioid treatment and prevention. The agreement would also require the industry to make important changes to help combat this epidemic.”

“We eagerly anticipate the finalizing of the proposed opioid settlement and partnering with local governments across California to leverage the funding that will help expand opioid prevention and treatment resources.”

This report is courtesy of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s press office. 

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Barbara Lee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Advances Over $10 Million in Appropriations Spending Bills for California’s 13th District 

Lee successfully fought for this funding to be included through several Appropriations subcommittees, including Labor, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and more.

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Graffiti that reads lets love our community photo courtesy of Mike Erskine via Unsplash

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, celebrated the inclusion of funding for projects across California’s 13th district in this year’s Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Appropriations Bills.

Lee successfully fought for this funding to be included through several Appropriations subcommittees, including Labor, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and more.

“In order for our nation to build back bolder from this pandemic and economic crisis, we must take this opportunity to strengthen our infrastructure, public health services, and cultural institutions,” said Lee. “I’m proud to have secured critical funding in this year’s FY22 Appropriations bills for housing, public health services, and violence prevention programs in California’s 13th district. It is more important than ever that we make bold investments to support the health and well-being of our community.”

CA-13  Community -Based  Projects:

  • $500,000 – East Bay Performing Arts for music education, City of Oakland, CA
  • $1,250,000 – West Oakland Health Council for facilities and equipment, Alameda County, CA
  • $350,000 – Oakland LGBTQ Community Center for facilities and equipment, City of Oakland, CA
  • $500,000 – Youth ALIVE! and Community & Youth Outreach (CYO), City of Oakland, CA
  • $1,000,000 – Oakland Cultural and Commercial Corridor Recovery Project, City of Oakland, CA
  • $1,230,000 – Oakland Mental Health Resilience Project, City of Oakland, CA
  • $1,000,000 – African American Holistic Resource Center, City of Berkeley, CA
  • $2,000,000 – Affordable Housing Development/Corporation Yard Environmental Clean-Up and Improvements, City of Emeryville, CA
  • $1,500,000 – Veteran’s Court Seawall for construction design, City of Alameda, CA
  • $1,000,000 – Trash Capture Project to install full trash capture devices, City of San Leandro, CA

 Sean Ryan is the communications director for Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s media office

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