Every woman will have access to birth control under the Obama administration’s latest decision regarding health care reform, which was meant to appease Catholic bishops who balked at a previous iteration of the rule. White House officials stated on Friday that insurers must create a policy that doesn’t offer coverage of contraceptives that can be used by religiously-affiliated employers that object. But insurers also have to offer a plan that covers contraceptives without co-pays or deductibles and they are required to reach out and offer it to women. Explicitly religious employers, such as houses of worship, are still exempt from covering contraception in their prescription plans. Keep reading »
Who’s been called in as “experts” on cable news to discuss the current debate over birth control? More men than women, that’s who. Across all the networks, 91 men appeared to talk about the birth control debate, while only 55 women appeared on-air. The greatest disparity was at the Fox stations, but the “liberal”-leaning network of MSNBC didn’t do much better. When the debate primarily affects women’s lives — in this case, their very bodies — more female voices need to be heard. Shame on these networks for allowing guys, whatever their opinion, a greater voice in the debate. [Think Progress]
“I had been on a Nickelodeon show, ‘Zoey 101,’ and after we wrapped shooting, I just wanted to go home to Louisiana and finish high school, be a cheerleader, all that. Then I found out I was pregnant. I was 16. I’d had one boyfriend. It doesn’t make it perfect or all right. But I was judged for something that probably most everyone does … I was like every other teenager, except I had this last name … I believe in safety and birth control as prevention. But like many young girls… I was really scared to go to the doctor. And I was on a Nickelodeon show, and it (felt) especially embarrassing to ask someone to put me on birth control. I didn’t want to ask my doctor.
It’d be dumb to sit here and say that [four-year-old daughter] Maddie isn’t going to like a boy one day and she isn’t going to have a boyfriend. I’ll just have to handle that the best way that I can. Both her daddy and me will caution her (about having sex), and I would hope that she would not want to do that at all, but I have to make sure that I’m realistic too. I’ve got to figure out a way to communicate to her to make smart choices and make the best decisions she can.”
Whoa. Not that there is much competition, but Jamie Lynn Spears is the smartest-sounding member of the Magnificent Performing Spears Family by leaps and bounds. Jamie Lynn talked to Glamour magazine about getting pregnant at 16 and it made me feel empathetic towards her situation. Keep reading »
Ladies, we may possible be able to say goodbye to the Pill, patch, ring and those heinous butt injections! Scientists are about to even out the birth control playing field (that has favored men for so long) by testing what could be “an effective, inexpensive and pain-free birth control option” for men.
The procedure: a few zaps to the balls with a high-frequency ultrasound and POOF! His swimming friends who threaten your womb with gestation disappear! Well, that’s what happened to male rats in a recently published study. After each rat had two ball-zapping treatments, researchers found that the rat’s sperm count was zero and its sperm-making germ cells were eradicated. (Yay! I think?) Keep reading »
Wrap it up! Yesterday, Pfizer announced a recall of one million packs of faulty birth control pills and warned everyone to use a backup method immediately. The recalled pill packs were a mix of packages in which some contained too many “active” pills, while others had too few. As we all learned in health class and/or Judy Blume novels, birth control pills work by tricking your body into pregnancy through regulation of your lady-hormones. If the balance in the hormones is off-set, then you are not protected from pregnancy. Affected birth control pills are sold under the name Lo/Ovral-28 and as generic Norgestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol and a full list of recalled lot numbers is available on the Pfizer web site. The pills aren’t dangerous to your health, but should be returned to your pharmacy … unless you want to get knocked up. [Raw Story, The Atlantic Wire, Pfizer.com]
Most employers will be required to cover the full cost of contraception and other preventative services in their health plans under the Affordable Care Act, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today. This means that women’s preventative health care like birth control will be available without co-pays or deductibles when Obama’s health care reform law goes into effect in August 1, 2012.
This past August, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that health insurers would be required to cover birth control without co-pays following the release of a report by the Institute of Medicine. That independent panel of doctors had cited coverage of preventative health care, such as STD screening and birth control, in its recommendation of best practices.
(And of course the talking boobs on Fox News wasted no time asking what Blue Cross/Blue Shield will be forced to cover next — manicures and pedicures?!?! Really. Someone said that. )
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Tomorrow, Election Day, voters in Mississippi will vote on a fetal personhood amendment to define a fetus as a person in the state constitution, thereby criminalizing all abortion. Initiative 26 would define a “person” as “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.” If it passes, surgical abortions would be banned, the abortion pill would be banned, and, according to a Personhood USA spokesman who spoke to NPR, even birth control pills would be banned. Keep reading »
I had an abortion when I was 21. It was my senior year of college. I was living in NYC, working nights as an exotic dancer while interning during the day at a grassroots nonprofit for disadvantaged girls. I was cheating on my long distance boyfriend, we were having unprotected sex and I got pregnant. I was lying to everyone about everything. I was a total shit show: three perfect words to describe Cat Marnell, the xoJane editor who caught flack last week for a post she wrote about using Plan B as her primary form of birth control.
When I think back to the young woman I was then, I want to shake her. I want to shame her. I am angry at a woman who should’ve known better- who did know better, I find myself thinking even now — but who chose, instead, to know nothing. I was stupid and reckless and selfish, self absorbed and intent on my ways. The abortion wasn’t the worst of it, only a symptom of a greater sorrow. Simply put, I needed help.
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