Update on FBI Definition and YAZ FDA Case

               Two updates on previous stories developed this past week. The first is in reference to our story on the possible higher risk of blood clots in YAZ and other drospirenone containing drugs.  An FDA Panel decided on Thursday that the benefits of these various birth control pills outweigh potential risks. They also decided to recommend the potential risk be included on the warning labels that go come with these drugs in a more detailed way then currently explained. They do not feel the current labels are clear enough for the lay person to understand.

                The panel came to the same conclusion about Ortho Evra, the birth control patch manufactured by Johnson and Johnson. Once again they decided the benefits outweigh the risks but that the labels needed to be updated.

The other update refers to a post of ours from a while back. In October we mentioned the Ms. Magazine/the Women’s Law Project/the Feminist Majority Foundation’s campaign to get the FBI to update its archaic definition of rape to ensure that it includes all victims including those underage, those drugged and those who were not female.

                The new definition has slowly been making its way towards approval with the subcommittee having approved the definition and sending the decision to the Criminal Justice Advisory Policy Board. Well on December 6th the Board voted and unanimously decided to adopt the new definition which says that rape is “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

                This brings the campaign to its last stage: FBI Director Robert Mueller must now give the new definition his seal of approval. Once that is done, the new definition will formally go into place as the definition of raped used to collected data from reporting law enforcement agencies. This will give better access to funding for rape victim support groups. It will also help give people a better idea of the real statistics regarding rape in their communities. Director Mueller is expected to announce a decision sometime in the New Year. Ms. Magazine will continue to take signatures on their Change.com petition until Director Mueller announces his decision to (hopefully) approve the new definition.

                What do you think the Director will do? Will he follow suit and accept the new definition quickly or put it on the back burner and not do anything with it for a while? Or worse, no approve it at all?


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