On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of El Salavador refused an appeal by a 22-year-old woman with serious health issues to have a lifesaving abortion. Beatriz is 26 weeks pregnant with a fetus missing parts of its brain and skull; it is not expected to live for more than a few hours after birth. Her doctors said Beatriz needed to terminate her pregnancy, however, because of complications with her ailing kidneys and lupus. The court ruled this week that since Beatriz’s death was not “imminent,” it would not allow doctors to give her an abortion.
But yesterday, following an international outcry, the Health Minister of El Salvador approved a Cesarean section for Beatriz, which will effectively terminate the pregnancy, “in the event of an emergency.” Keep reading »
According to an article in the New York Times’ “Well” Blog, a study found that a staggering 93 percent of college women engage in something called “fat talk.” Think, one woman says: “I can’t believe I just ate that whole bag of Oreos. I’m so fat!” Think, another woman says in response: “Oh my god, you’re not fat. Look at my ass, I’m the one who balloons when I eat sweets.”
Sound familiar? I’m sure it does. “Fat talk” is a vicious cycle wherein we tear ourselves down so we don’t seem too confident and then, in order to maintain equality in the friendship, we praise our friend and then tear our body down even more aggressively. If you’re a woman, than you’ve more than likely engaged in this toxic conversation cycle that sets the stage for poor body image and eating disorders, sometimes without even consciously wanting to. Why?
Because it’s become a way to bond with other women. And the really sick part is that researchers have found that it’s so automatic and embedded in women, that it may not even reflect the way we really feel about ourselves, but rather the way we think we are expected to feel about our bodies. That’s fucked up. It’s time for us to make an effort to shut the “fat talk” down. But how? Anything that happens automatically is a habit. Just like biting your nails or smoking cigarettes, we need to think of it as a seriously bad habit that must be broken. After the jump Winona and I have come up with some suggestions for cutting fat talk out of your life. Keep reading »
I know you care about the opinions of a man who, in 1977, gave a Quaalude and champagne to a 13-year-old girl before he raped her. This weekend, filmmaker Roman Polanski said that the birth control pill has “masculinized” women and taken the “romance” out of our lives. You know, the romance of yore, like giving drugs and alcohol to 8th grade girls. Keep reading »
Huffington Post reporter Laura Bassett snapped this photo Wednesday at a House of Representatives hearing regarding a proposed nationwide 20-week abortion ban spearheaded by Republican Rep. Trent Franks. If you look closely, you will see a dude, another dude, another dude, another dude, another dude, another dude, another dude, and yup, one more dude. EIGHT MEN! At a hearing on abortion rights! Dudes! Legislating women’s bodies! [Twitter; Huffington Post] [Photo via Laura Bassett]
Yesterday, a woman named Christy Zink testifed before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcomittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice to discuss a bill proposed by Rep. Trent Franks to ban abortions after 20 weeks. Zink spoke about her difficult decision in 2009 to have an abortion at 22 weeks after she learned the fetus she was carrying was severely disabled.
In response to her testimony, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, also a Republican, publicly shamed Zink and her family for terminating a late-term pregnancy and suggested she should have carried the possibly nonviable pregnancy to term just on principle. Keep reading »
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia doctor whose clinic gained attention for his criminal performance of late-term abortions, was found guilty yesterday of three counts of first-degree murder. He had been accused of killing four babies and one woman, but was found guilty of only three of the babies’ deaths.
Gosnell, 72, operated an illegally-run clinic in Philly that provided late-term abortions to low-income women. He was accused of killing live babies after delivery with scissors, as opposed to terminating the pregnancies during standard late-term abortion procedure. Gosnell’s case became a lightening rod for anti-abortion activists who attempted to paint Gosnell as the standard in abortion care. Similarly, abortion rights supporters underscored the reason abortion needs to be safe and legal is to keep patients safe from doctors like him. Keep reading »
As I am getting ready to leave for the doctor’s office, Auntie Shadi gives me a warning: “Now don’t expect to be seen exactly on time. This is not America.”
“Oh. Ok,” I say, instead of admitting that we don’t necessarily get seen exactly on time for our doctor’s appointment either. During this one-month stay in Iran I have learned to choose my battles with misconceptions. I only correct the important ones, like the one where they assume that anyone who lives in America has lots of money without working.
Since I had left a lucrative career as an oral surgeon to become a writer, money was tight and most of my activities were on hold. When dad invited me to Iran on an all-expense-paid trip, I gladly accepted. As most everything is cheaper in Iran, I decided to get some of my annual medical exams out of the way, too. My father takes a particular pleasure in going to the doctor. It’s his fear of hospitals that makes him so diligent in preventative care to the point that when he runs out of things to do, he just pops in for some blood work. So, hearing about my interest in seeing a doctor (any doctor, really) was good news. He secretly wanted to show off the excellence in Iran’s medical care.
A routine check up at the OB/GYN could not be that complicated, I reasoned. Besides, nowhere in the United States does a specialist visit cost $16. Keep reading »