Thirty-one-year-old Savita Halappanavar died in Ireland’s University Hospital Galway in October after she was repeatedly denied medical care while suffering a miscarriage.
Halappanavar, an Indian who lived and worked in Ireland with her husband, began miscarrying around October 24, 17 weeks into her her pregnancy. Her cervix had dilated, she was leaking amniotic fluid, and a doctor said the fetus would not survive outside her body. She had the “shakes,” was “shivering” and “vomiting” for several days. Halappanavar and her husband repeatedly asked to terminate the pregnancy, but the hospital refused, telling her “This is a Catholic country” and they could not perform an abortion so long as a fetal heartbeat was detectable. On October 28, Savita Halappanavar died of septicemia (blood poisoning) and E.coli ESBL.
Women in Ireland have had a right to an abortion if their life is at risk since 1992, after an Irish Supreme Court ruling. But today, Ireland’s Minister of Health announced the Irish government will introduce a new law to clarify specifically that abortions are legal when the life of the mother is at risk. However, the health of the mother will still not be reason enough for an Irish doctor to terminate a pregnancy. That is still unacceptable. Keep reading »
Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, calling for birth control to be made available over-the-counter for women over age 18. He argues that if contraception was available over-the-counter, employers who object to covering BC in their health insurance plans would back off.
That idea makes sense. However, Jindal’s advocacy seems less about the principle of women’s reproductive rights and more about being butthurt that Democrats were able to use Republicans’ own words and beliefs to bludgeon them in the last election on the women’s rights issue.
Keep reading »
Men who inaccurately believe a woman’s body “just shuts down” during rape aren’t just all up in your legislature making your laws. They also sit on your courts.
California Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson has been publicly admonished in a 10-0 vote by the CA Commission on Judicial Performance for his comments that a 2008 sexual assault victim “didn’t put up a fight” during her rape and that her rape was only “technical,” whatever that means, and not “a real, live criminal case.” Rape can’t happen because if a woman’s body doesn’t want sex, Johnson said, because her ladyparts “will not permit that to happen.”
Good to know he was also a former prosecutor on the Orange County DA’s sex crimes unit, huh?
Warning, there is a description of a very violent threat of sexual violence after the jump. Keep reading »
A New York City woman is suing a “major Republican fundraiser” after he gave her herpes. What a catch! Not only did he give big bucks to Mitt Romney, but he refused to wear a condom or inform her he had an STD. The New York Daily News reports they dated for two years until she found out that he was allegedly cheating on her and knew that he had contracted the STD. Now this poor woman has herpes for the rest of her life. Keep reading »
No one ever really asked what the bros had to say about the Republican “war on women.” Which was sad, really, because they stood to lose quite a lot of blowies if we all had to be barefoot and pregnant. They will be ignored no longer! Now Sarah Silverman is putting that whole having-dated-Jimmy-Kimmel thing to good use and is urging bros to be bro-choice. You should watch it, bro.
Given the Gawker mandate to be glib and ruthless, whether or not they know what they’re talking about, I won’t pretend to be shocked by a dashed-off remark in Monday’s post on Kate Middleton’s pregnancy:
The Palace also reported that Kate was admitted to the hospital today with “hyperemesis gravidarum,” which is what they call regular old morning sickness when you are a princess.
Nor, for more or less the same reasons, was it surprising to watch the ladies of “The View” dismiss the duchess’s condition with a flurry of bubbly interruptions, ignoring a nurse’s earnest response to Barbara Walters’ half-hearted question about whether HG is serious: “It can be,” the nurse said sheepishly. (In an open letter to the duchess, HG sufferer Betsy Shaw gives Kate “permission to slap” Walters.)
I have no idea whether Kate has HG or not. But the fact remains that it can be a brutal, crippling condition that goes largely ignored and untreated, partly due to its overlap with ordinary pregnancy sickness and partly to our attitude toward suffering and the suffering of pregnant women in particular. As Atul Gawande noted in an indispensable 1999 New Yorker piece on nausea and vomiting, “A surprising number of doctors still believe in the discredited Freudian theory that hyperemesis is due to an unconscious rejection of pregnancy.” Little seems to have changed since the last century — or the one before, for that matter. Keep reading »
Women with the most severe forms of endometriosis are seen as more attractive than those with mild forms or no form of the disease, according to a new study conducted by Dr. Paolo Vercellini, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Universita degli Studi in Milan.
Endometriosis is problem with a woman’s uterus in which the tissue that grows on the inside of her uterine lining also grows on the outside, sometimes covering the ovaries, intestines or other organs within the body. It causes abnormal bleeding and can make it difficult for some women to conceive.
What does endo have to do with attractiveness, though? Keep reading »
Birth control pills should be available over the counter without a prescription, the American College Of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended yesterday. Keep reading »