A truly remarkable piece of reporting (including actual good news on maternal health) by Jina Moore in Al Jazeera America:
BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of the Congo – At first glance, Central University Hospital in Brazzaville looks like so many other hospitals in so many other African capitals – home to dimly lit waiting rooms and dirty floors. But inside the freshly painted mint-green walls of the hospital’s maternity ward, a revolution is happening.
An anti-abortion siege is under way in Albuquerque, and activists there are using tactics and rhetoric we’ve heard before — tactics and rhetoric that have a marked history of getting abortion providers killed. I’m detailing the pro-life strategy of violence in Salon:...read more
The right-wing anti-sex “real woman” backlash seems to have hit the feminist movement this month, with the publication of books telling women to swear off the Pill and to swear off sex. I’m writing about it in the Guardian: That we’ve come a long way, baby, but gender relations remain fraught, and living with a wide variety of choices that look wide-open but end up constrained is much more challenging than having one or two paths to choose from. It’s easier, in many ways, to offer simple proscriptive advice about “real” femininity than to have to figure out how to be a woman when the definition of “womanhood” is increasingly broad:...read more
At some point, when your organization is picketing Holocaust museums and when your organization is run by a felon who conspired to bomb medical facilities and when the last doctor your organization targeted ended up murdered by a person who shares your political views (and a few before him were killed or shot at), don’t you pause for a second and think, “Hmmm. Maybe we don’t have the moral high ground here?”...read more
Feministe friend and former guest blogger Monica Potts takes a look at the decrease in life expectancy for low-income whites in the Southern United States. She doesn’t come away with any definitive answers, but paints a picture of desolation, few opportunities and lack of access to decent health care and good food as potential culprits. It is a heart-breaking must-read....read more
This week at the Guardian I’m writing about the gay conversion therapy ban passed in New Jersey, and how religious freedom is too often used as an argument for abusing kids — at the expense of children’s own equal protection under the law....read more
On Tuesday, the NIH announced that they have been working with the family of Henrietta Lacks to establish new rules and standards for use of cells that were stolen from her and used without her consent as the foundation of six decades of scientific discovery....read more
We live in an era of unprecedented access to information about sex, imagery of sex and health care related to sex. Internet porn is ubiquitous. Sexual health information, though not always easily accessible, is more accessible online, in mainstream publications (hello Cosmo) and at doctor’s offices than ever before. Frank discussion of sexual pleasure is standard on television and in movies. There are entire university departments dedicated to the study of human sexuality. That’s all good, and we have early sexual pioneers and researchers to thank for it. But we still have quite a long way to go. I’d love to see us embrace a vision of sexuality that isn’t transactional or gendered or capitalist:...read more
I’m sure Jenny McCarthy is a perfectly nice person and I have perhaps laughed at one of her poop jokes once or twice, but she’s the biggest anti-vaccine celebrity out there, spreading all kinds of misinformation. And as far as I can tell, beyond her anti-vax activism, she’s never had even had a passing interest in current events or politics. So why put her on a show where her job is to intelligently discuss current events?...read more
I’m not ashamed to menstruate. I’m not afraid of menstrual blood. But menstrual blood, to me, is gross, in the same way that any other bodily fluid is gross, and I don’t see why I should have to make an exception for menstrual blood, just because it was hanging out in my uterus beforehand rather than my blood vessels or my sinuses. There’s a sense among some women, though, that menstrual blood should be seen and treated differently. Specially. Reverently....read more
Abortion restrictions are being introduced, debated and mostly passed across several states in the U.S. Texas has been the most notable, but many others — Ohio, North Carolina, Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi and North Dakota — are ramping up their anti-abortion legislation. But while the GOP claims to focus on “life,” many of the states dedicating enormous amounts of time, money and energy to limiting abortion also see incredibly poor health outcomes for mothers and children. I outline some of them over at Al Jazeera; here’s a bit:...read more
Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals, the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.
At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years — and there are perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews.