FUDGE. The House of Representatives voted 240-185 to block federal aid from Planned Parenthood.
According to The Washington Post, the pols are taking particular aim at funding through Title X, the “$327 million program founded in 1970 that covers family planning and reproductive health. By law, Title X funds can be spent on family planning and contraception but not on abortion services.” Out of concern and suspicion these funds are used to pay for abortions, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) is spearheading the effort to de-fund Planned Parenthood, while other Republicans are aiming to defund Title X entirely. And wouldn’t you know, Rep. Pence referenced that sting video by anti-abortion extremist group Live Action that was filmed inside Planned Parenthood clinics undercover as they counseled actors pretending to be pimps with teen prostitutes? Well played, Live Action and the Republican Party. Keep reading »
It’s worth a reminder sometimes that the term “reproductive rights” doesn’t just mean the right not not reproduce, like with abortion. Reproductive rights can also mean the right to produce, like in the case of Mei Fun Wong, a Chinese woman seeking asylum in the U.S. because she fears she’ll be persecuted for removing her IUD. Wong, 44, lives in New York City and has been fighting to stay in the U.S. for years. Back in 1991, the Chinese government forced her to get an IUD implanted as part of its one child per family population control policy. Wong said the IUD caused her physical pain, but doctors refused to remove it. She had it secretly removed by a physician she found for herself. When another doctor discovered during a routine exam that the IUD had been removed, the government held her for three days until she agreed to have it re-implanted. She tried to flee to Hong Kong, claiming she wanted to get away from being forced to wear the IUD, and was jailed for four months and fined. Finally, Wong arrived in the U.S. in 2000 — following her husband, who fled to the U.S. after his involvement in Tiananmen Square — had her IUD removed in New York, and now she wants asylum so she can escape the Chinese government’s “menacing” behavior. Keep reading »
For the past three years, I have not taken any birth control pills and instead solely relied on condoms for contraception. These past few years, I have been a full-time freelancer without health insurance and I have prioritized paying for my anti-depressant prescription — anywhere from $100 to $120 bucks a month, depending on the pharmacy — over BC.
But if the Obama administration gets its way after a thorough review from health experts, the costs of contraceptives and other family planning services will be covered by insurers under health care reform. Contraceptives would be considered “preventative services” because they prevent unwanted pregnancies and a host of other health issues that come along with the stork’s surprises. Wouldn’t that be the jam?
Don’t get too excited yet, though: some “family” organizations are already whining that pregnancy is “not a disease” and birth control should not be considered a preventative service. Keep reading »
It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Insecure Mess” who wrote in a year ago about feeling like she didn’t deserve her boyfriend of one year because he was so normal while she had so many issues. “I’m constantly thinking that he doesn’t love me, isn’t attracted to me, and is just dating me until he finds someone better. My boyfriend has never given me any reason to feel this way; therefore, I don’t think these feelings are rational at all,” she wrote. After the jump, find out how she’s doing today and get some info that may be of value to you too. Keep reading »
Imagine this: You’re a young, single woman out in the jungle that is the urban dating world. One fine night, you meet a good-looking guy at a holiday party. “Hello,” he says, as you push your way through the crowd toward the makeshift bar. “Do I know you?” you ask. “No, but I’d like to get you another drink,” he offers. You are charmed. “Of course — but be careful. They’re pouring heavy tonight,” you warn. He laughs. Before long, you and the young man are conversing while throwing back stiff vodka tonics. Soon, you are making out. Why not, right? He invites you home with him. You agree. You are pleasantly surprised when you arrive at his swanky, apartment, and it’s clean! Before long, you’re both naked. Then, he utters some alarming words. “Do you have a condom?” he asks. “Um … Not on me. Don’t you have one?” you ask. “Can we skip the condom? I prefer sex without a condom. I have great self-control,” he explains. Keep reading »
Country music, Chick-fil-A, and teen pregnancy: three things that can be found anywhere in America but are heavily concentrated in the South. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released reports last week which show the top 10 states with the highest rate of pregnant teens in 2008 sweep across the Bible belt: Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas (along with New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada, which are more in the Southwest). Obviously, geographic location alone doesn’t make someone eligible for “16 & Pregnant.” Experts say the same states full of pregnant teens are the ones in which “sex education” teaches abstinence as the only form of birth control. Keep reading »
Teens learn about the birds and the bees in high school sex ed — but they’re not, apparently, learning about birth control. A report from the Centers for Disease Control found that 97 percent of teens received sex education by the time they turned 18, but an alarming 30 percent of teens said that contraception education wasn’t a part of their sex ed curriculum. Keep reading »