In an enormous victory for women and girls across the nation, the Food and Drug Administration finally approved the Plan B One-Step brand morning-after pill for over-the-counter use. Plan B One-Step is a one-pill version of emergency contraception and this approval covers women and girls of all ages. Like all EC, it is more effective the sooner it is taken after unprotected sex. If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, EC is almost 90 percent more effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration backed off its resistance to making the morning-after pill accessible OTC to women and girls of all ages. Previously, Obama had been against girls younger than 15 being able to access the pill. Keep reading »
Since the introduction of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil in 2006, infections in women and girls have been by more than half. This statistic exceeds the expectations of researchers and although this progress is encouraging, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden stated, “the report should be a wake-up call to our nation to protect the next generation by increasing HPV vaccination rates.”
The fact that the infection rate has dropped so much comes as a surprise because the inoculation rate in the U.S. is relatively low: only a third of girls ages 13 to 17 in the U.S. have been vaccinated. Unfortunately, HPV vaccinations have been dogged by “moral panic” concerns that vaccinating adolescent girls will encourage them to be promiscuous — which is flat-out not true. Keep reading »
Yesterday, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives advanced a so-called “fetal pain” bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Fortunately, it is not expected to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate and President Obama would veto the bill. Thus, the bill is largely symbolic.
The Orwellian-worded bill called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based on the idea, unsupported by the medical community, that fetuses can feel pain (and pleasure! They like to masturbate!) after 20 weeks. Numerous other bills have cropped up around the country, from Minnesota to Indiana to Texas, based on the same idea.
Not surprisingly, Republicans have a renewed vigor for “fetal pain” bills after the trial of Kermit Gosnell, a doctor who was found to have been killing babies in botched abortions — ironically, because the women who went to his inexpensive, illegally-run clinic were unable to obtain safer, earlier abortions. The House bill is sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), who made headlines last week for saying that pregnancy from rape is rare. Keep reading »
Fashion thrives on controversy in all of its many manifestations, but how far is too far? VICE, which has been distributing its fair share of maybe-too-much content since 1994, wants to test your limits. The free monthly magazine’s largely self-explanatory Women in Fiction issue brings us “Lost Words,” a fashion spread featuring models styled and posed as beloved female writers who have killed themselves, during the act of killing themselves. Keep reading »
We know that some models pursue dangerous measures in the hopes they will join the cadre of elites. We know that being a top model means million-dollar contracts and the key that unzips Leonardo DiCaprio’s pants. And we also know that many modeling agencies are all too happy to exploit preteen and teen girls, putting their sexual, mental and physical health at risk in pursuit of big bucks and prestige. Agencies get a cut of the money, after all. The 2012 documentary “Girl Model” (which is screening on Netflix now — go watch it!) pulled back the curtain on the lack of protections for underage models, especially ones who have traveled from faraway foreign countries, alone, don’t speak English or know their rights — like, say, you shouldn’t have to suck anyone’s dick to get a gig.
This week, New York’s state legislature took a step in the right direction by passing a bill that will give models under age 18 the same legal protections as child actors and other young performers. The laws would apply to both print and runway models. Keep reading »