Health

What would you do if you needed an abortion in a country where it’s outlawed?

I’m in Brazil right now with the wonderful International Reporting Project, and while here I spoke with a young woman who, like many women around the world, got pregnant when she didn’t want to be. Here in Brazil, abortion is generally illegal. After trying several different methods unsuccessfully and reaching out to a variety of slightly-shady people for help, she decided to go the safest route: To say she had been raped and get a safe, legal abortion in a Brazilian hospital. Her story is here. Women in this country are understandably very afraid to speak with anyone about abortion, and lots of women die or are injured from unsafe procedures. I’m particularly grateful to this young woman, who I’m calling Juliana, for her generosity, her honesty and her courage in sharing an extremely complicated story.

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Catholic dominance over hospitals endangers women

My latest at Al Jazeera America is about how Catholic health care services put women’s health at risk:

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AL HB31: Where saving a woman’s life becomes a question of conscience

Conscience laws. Fucking conscience laws. In this case, the fucking “Health Care Rights of Conscience Act,” Alabama HB31, which would allow the entire hospital staff, including but not limited to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, counselors, and social workers, to refuse to provide medical care in situations that would “violate their conscience.”

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Obamacare does not violate employers’ religious freedom

The Supreme Court of the United States will hear two cases about the Affordable Care Act, brought by businesses who claim their religious freedom is violated by the mandate to cover contraception. I’m writing about it in the Guardian this week:

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Republicans use weird, creepy tactics to push college students away from Obamacare

Republicans are pushing college students to opt out of Obamacare, and they’re doing it by invading that most sacred of college institutions: the tailgate party.

Generation Opportunity, a Virginia-based group [...] will launch a six-figure campaign aimed at convincing young people to “opt-out” of the Obamacare exchanges. Later this month, the group will begin a tour of 20 college campuses, where they plan to set up shop alongside pro-Obamacare activists such as Enroll America that are working to sign people up for the insurance exchanges.

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North Carolina will offer some amount of compensation to victims of its eugenics program

The state of North Carolina has passed a $10 million compensation plan for victims of its eugenics program, which ran from 1929 to 1974. It’s estimated that 7,600 people were forcibly sterilized under the program; 177 have since been identified.

[Strong content note for ableism and racism]

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Know Your Rights: Obesity, Disease, Employment Discrimination

In the last month or so, the AMA, acting against its own science council’s advice, has declared obesity to be a “disease.”

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