The Supreme Court ruled today [PDF] that employers with religious objections to birth control are not required to cover contraception in health insurance plans for women under the Affordable Care Act. The court ruled 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores owned by evangelical Christians who oppose birth control. The Obama administration had made a variety of concessions for religious employers like churches and religious non-profits, but this ruling affects for-profit businesses. (According to Amy Howe at SCOTUSblog, this ruling will not apply to publicly held corporations, just family-owned businesses when the owners in question are clearly religious.)
Update: Keep reading »
The NYPD has finally agreed to ban the confiscation condoms as evidence from people they suspect of being sex workers. With similar measures having been fought for and won in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., this seems like a win for sexual health, right?
Well, sort of. The headlines I keep seeing aren’t actually accurate: “NYPD to stop seizing sex work suspects’ condoms,” “NYPD To Stop Seizing Condoms From Suspects As Evidence Of Prostitution,” etc. This sort of shoddy reporting might mean that the public thinks that condoms as evidence is an issue over and done with, when in fact there is more to do. The policy announced by NYPD Commissioner Bratton bars confiscation of condoms as arrest evidence in prostitution, prostitution in a school zone, and loitering for the purposes of prostitution cases, which is a great start. But it’s not as overarching as the mainstream media seems to think it is. Keep reading »
It always amuses me when something concerning pregnancy, birth, or parenting pops up as a “trend.” Odds are, that “trend” has been in practice for ages, but most likely in non-urban, non-privileged, non-U.S. areas. Take, for example, the notion of using midwives to deliver babies over OB-GYNs. Only when it hit Brooklyn and the New York Times Style section covered it, did using a midwife become a trend. Nevermind the fact that midwives remain the only option for maternal health care in much of the developing world! They’re also the preferred choice in places like the UK: midwives perform 80 to 90 percent of all low-risk births in England.
Recently the “trend” of doing stuff with your placenta post-delivery seems to be resurfacing. I say resurfacing because I feel like I’m always hearing stuff about other people’s placentas and what they’re doing with them. From burying them under a tree in the front yard to dehydrating them them into capsules, eating them , or using them as art pieces. Recently, Nick Baines wrote a piece for UK Guardian in which he described in great detail the various ways he ingested his wife’s placenta after the birth of their son. Keep reading »
Last week, a caller on the syndicated call-in radio program “Loveline” prefaced his question by listing the symptoms of his fiancée’s endometriosis. The radio show’s host, Dr. Drew, cut him off:
“These are what we call sort of functional disorders. Everything you mentioned, everything you mentioned, are things that actually aren’t discernibly pathological. They’re what we call ‘garbage bag diagnoses,’ when you can’t think of anything else, you go, ‘Eh, it’s that.’ So, it then makes me question why is she so somatically preoccupied that she’s visiting doctors all the time with pains and urinary symptoms and pelvic symptoms, and then that makes me wonder, was she sexually abused growing up?”
Word? Okay. Because this one dude won’t ever experience a condition affecting 5 million American women, that means it’s got to be made up? Some of us might be survivors of sexual abuse. Because you can be a survivor of sexual abuse and have endometriosis at the damn same time. But being a survivor of sexual abuse and having endometriosis are mutually exclusive. Because sexual abuse does not cause endometriosis. Keep reading »
Google has agreed to remove search ads for some “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) after admitting that the ads, which come up in searches for abortion, violate its policy against deceptive advertising.
CPCs are centers which portray themselves as women’s health clinics offering a range of treatment options for pregnant women, sometimes including abortion. But often the centers aren’t actually staffed by doctors and instead have counselors who try to dissuade women from terminating pregnancies, even telling them lies. They are frequently located near actual abortion clinics, so as to confuse women. (The HBO documentary “12th & Delaware” is a good primer on how CPCs operate.) Research by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL-Pro Choice America) found that nearly 80 percent of the CPCs that advertise on Google claim to provide abortions and thus come up in a search for “abortion clinic,” but don’t actually offer abortions or referrals to abortion clinics or doctors in reality. Keep reading »
Good vision is something that many of us take for granted, but that can change in the blink of an eye! There are simple things we should be doing, even in our 20s, to make sure that our eyes stay in good working order for the long term. And this is important for women especially, since recent studies show that we experience serious vision issues, including permanent vision loss, twice as often as men! Keep reading »