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]
This is a sad story that underscores how the age requirement on the morning-after pill doesn’t work: a math teacher in Austin, Texas, resigned after she was caught having helped a student acquire the morning-after pill. Two weeks ago, a 16-year-old came to her teacher, Tracy Lee Steinberg, 32, in tears and told her she was afraid that she was pregnant. Steinberg told the student she had a bright future and that she would help the 16-year-old get the morning-after pill, which is only available over-the-counter without a prescription for women ages 17 and up. Steinberg got money for the Plan B from the student and the student’s boyfriend, purchased it at a Planned Parenthood, and the student took it.
But when the student started experiencing normal side effects of Plan B like nausea, the student — surely in fear — told her mother she’d taken the morning-after pill and that Steinberg had gotten it for her. The mother called the school district and the administrators notified Steinberg she’d be put on leave. Instead, Steinberg offered to resign. Keep reading »
If you’re big whores like we are, you’re intimately familiar with the panoply of birth control options out there. The Pill. The patch. The Depo Provera shot. And of course, good old condoms. So we are delighted to hear there is a new option for those of us who are not responsible enough to feed and care for a goldfish, much less a baby: the birth control ninja. This tiny ninja hangs out inside your ladyparts and kicks the ass of any sperm that tries to sully one of your precious eggs. Quick, get yours now before the religious right gets them banned! [YouTube] Keep reading »
Hey, great news, male prostitutes with HIV/AIDS! The Pope has given you his blessing to use condoms! In the upcoming book Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times, Pope Benedict XVI concedes that in very rare cases, condom use could be considered justified to help stop the spread of AIDS. The example he specifically uses is for that of male prostitutes, for whom condom use “can be a first in the direction of moralization a first assumption of responsibility.” When the media was quick to jump all over this statement as a reversal of the Catholics Church’s long-standing policy banning contraceptives, the Church was quick to clarify that the Pope’s statement was no such thing. Because, I mean, let’s face it, the Catholic Church certainly doesn’t believe male prostitutes (with AIDS!) are getting into heaven anyway. 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 »