SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A women’s health forum held Thursday at San Francisco State University focused on the timely topic of access to contraceptives. Advocates equated the recent debates on the issue to watching a battle won 50 years ago being waged again.

The Women’s Health Forum was hosted by Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-12) and titled “Don’t Turn Back the Clock.”

“There have been 1,100 bills introduced across this country to reduce sources for women as it relates to their health,” she declared. “And 80 of them have been signed into law.”

“This is an unprecedented assault on women’s health and the status of women in this country,” she said.

Highlighting the need for access to care was Jeanne Conry, M.D., president-elect of the American Congress for Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Conry noted that the maternal mortality rate in California has tripled in the past decade.

“That’s because women are not planning pregnancies. 50% of pregnancies are unplanned in California and women are not healthy when they start a pregnancy,” Conry explained. “We’re up there with some third world countries with the chance a mom is going to die during labor.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

The topic has received considerable attention as of late, especially after the Obama Administration argued that religiously affiliated institutions should be required to offer contraceptive coverage.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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