Anti-trafficking advocates, LGBT organizations, lawmakers and public health advocates have gathered in Albany, New York today to push for new legislation about condoms. Yes, condoms.
Currently 39 million male condoms and two million female condoms are distributed for free in New York State. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, “Consistent and correct use of the male latex condom reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV transmission.” If used correctly, rubbers can also prevent unplanned pregnancies.
Yet having pockets full of condoms could also lead to a potential prostitution arrest by law enforcement, or even be used as incriminating evidence by prosecutors in trial. If trafficking victims, sex workers, LGBTQ persons and others are targeted by law enforcement, what is the incentive to have safe sex? Keep reading »
Fathers, lock up your daughters: the government is going to be forcing slutty slut pills down their throats!
That will be the Fox News version of events. But here in Reasonable, Common Sense-land, the story is different: a federal judge — a man! — has struck down the age limit on the morning-after pill, meaning sexually active young women age 16 and younger will be able to access it. Ruling on a lawsuit by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Judge Edward Korman decided that the government’s refusal to lift the age restriction is “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” and said the FDA’s feet-dragging has been an “obstruction.” He ordered the FDA to lift the age restriction within 30 days.
Reproductive rights activists pushed the FDA for years to make Plan B accessible to all and in 2011, they finally did. But it never happened: Health and Human Services Secretary swiftly overruled the FDA recommendation to make Plan B accessible to everyone, citing alleged concern about its safety for young teens — but in reality, kowtowing to a game of keep-conservatives-happy hardball. Keep reading »
Beginning yesterday, France will provide access to free birth control for teenaged girls ages 15 to 18 without parental notification, as well as reimburse the cost of abortions to all women over age 18.
Pinch me. Am I dreaming? It’s not still April Fools’ Day, right? Keep reading »
While there are many positive side effects from taking a once-daily birth control pill — no more heavy periods, no more acne, less intense menstrual cramps — the main purpose, as the name suggests, is to prevent pregnancies. It is just one of many forms of contraception used by those who are not ready to have children.
Yet those on the Pill can attest that the potential for human error is high. The Pill’s effectiveness is reduced if a dose is skipped or even taken outside a specific margin of time. The Guttmacher Institute reports that 54 percent of women who have had abortions say they’ve used some form of contraception (usually the Pill or a condom), and of once-daily pill users who had abortions, 76 percent said they used them inconsistently. At last, there might be hope for the fair-weather BC pill user! Keep reading »
This essay was published with permission from Gender-Focus.
My spouse and I are seeking permanent birth control, and the entire process has been difficult. At this point, we are sick to death of unsolicited advice on the subject (Pro-tip: If someone you don’t know says they’re not judging you, they are judging you.) Everyone’s heart is in the right place, I can only assume. People think they are telling us new information that will keep us from making what they perceive to be a mistake. I get that they’re trying to help. But we continually find ourselves defending this very personal decision to total strangers. So to keep myself from screaming, I’m going to outline why the condescension disguised as concern is totally unfounded. Trust us. We’ve thought it through. Keep reading »
The Obama administration released new details this morning about which religious employers will be exempt from covering the cost of birth control under health care reform — which the Associated Press describes as a “broader opt-out.”
The Health and Human Services Department announced this morning that businesses which object must “self-certify that they are non-profits with religion as a core part of their mission,” according to The Huffington Post. For example, you can’t just object to covering women’s preventative care if you are, for example, a religious Catholic who objects to birth control and also happens to employ people working at a nonprofit animal shelter. Additionally, if a religious nonprofit refuses to provide coverage of contraception, a third-party health insurer must handle the coverage for women who want it. Keep reading »
Not only is Hillary Clinton creating a frenzy of 2016 election speculation and my favorite internet memes, but she’s also brought blood clots into the media spotlight. While the buzz has gone down, and you rarely hear commentators on CNN analyzing deep leg thrombosis anymore, the incident stuck with me. I, too, have blood clots.
In April of 2012, an unusual set of symptoms put my dear Bubbe, a retired oncology nurse, into a strange panic. She demanded daily, “Go see a doctor!”, as she was increasingly worried about my high fever, swollen glands and other symptoms that were unbeknownst to me as signs of lymphoma.
I, of course, remained completely ignorant of what my illness could be, only calling the doctor to avoid incessant nudging that had now spread to my mother. You’ll do anything promptly at the urging of two Jewish women.
It was only when my doctor told my grandmother it was not what she feared that I finally realized what all the fuss was about. I burst into tears and exhaled a sigh of relief all in the span of about five minutes in the waiting room, before I was strapped in for a series of precautionary blood tests. Keep reading »