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 »
[W]hat I’ve learned [after being called a "slut" by Rush Limbaugh on his show] has less to do with Mr. Limbaugh specifically and more to do with a part of our population that has this view. Because frankly, you don’t go on national radio and talk for several days about something that no one wants to hear. There’s an audience for this type of sexist vitriol. There is real hate and sexism within our society that we have to do something about.
– Here, here, Sandra Fluke! The Georgetown University law student — who was famously called a “slut” and “prostitute” on-air by Rush Limbaugh after she testified before House Democrats about the limited coverage for birth control at her school — was interviewed this week in The New York Times Magazine. Even though I found Fluke’s comments about erotica/pornography ignorant and annoying — Interviewer: “What does feminist porn look like?” Fluke: “I’ll let you know when I find any.” — she was otherwise super articulate and smart, especially when discussing the difference between free speech and slander. I hope Sandra Fluke runs for office someday and unseats some douchebag Rick Santorum acolyte. [NY Times Magazine]
Senator Kristen Gillibrand gets the Girl, You’ve Got Bigger Stones Than Me Award of the week for going head-to-head on “Meet The Press” yesterday with none other than Rep. Michele Bachmann. (Rep. Bachmann, let me remind you, refers to emergency contraception as “the morning-after abortion pill” thus conflating it with abortion, suggests the HPV vaccine can make children become mentally retarded, jokes about so-called “ex-gay” therapy and does not allow her daughters to ask boys on dates.) Somehow Sen. Gillibrand managed not to reach through the TV screens and shake her … even when Bachmann said Republicans want women to “make their own choices.”
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Ridiculously sensational headlines like “$1 Abortions in ObamaCare” and “ObamaCare: Home of the $1 Abortions” are what’s buzzing at the pro-life water cooler today. These headlines would have you believe that under the President’s health care reform, taxpayer funding will pay for abortions that cost just a buck. Keep reading »
Mitt Romney must think low-income women don’t really need breast exams. And those Pap smears that could detect cervical cancer? So frivolous! Surely that’s the only thing the GOP frontrunner could have meant when he told folks in Missouri he would “get rid of” Planned Parenthood, as well as a number of other programs, to reduce the debt. “The test is pretty simple. Is the program so critical, it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?” Romney said. “And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that’s the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrak, I’d eliminate that. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities.” Keep reading »
One spring afternoon when I was in high school in New York City, I had a bizarre health scare. A friend and I had been lounging by the Hudson River pretending to read and philosophize but really gossiping about our schoolmates — acting exactly our age.
That afternoon, I had miserable symptoms as I always did when I had my period. So I popped some handy painkillers, waited for them to work, gritted my teeth, yakked some more with my friend, and then went home. Later that evening I noticed myself itching at the hairline, then on my face. Within an hour, I was completely covered with distinct red polka dots which would have been cute on a dress, but were horrifying on my skin. Hurriedly I showered, took Benadryl, and woke up fine the next morning. I assumed it had been a reaction to something on the ground or a tree.
But then it happened again the next time I had my period. So my mother, like the good Jewish mom that she is, marched me to the doctor. There I learned I was allergic to anti-inflammatory medicines: Aspirin, Advil, Aleeve, Motrin and their equivalents. I could only take Tylenol, which didn’t help nearly as much as the other pills had.
This newly-diagnosed allergy posed a big problem. Keep reading »