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.”...read more
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:...read more
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]...read more
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.
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
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
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
Holy cow is a lot, according to this New York Times feature. In fact, it’s more than any other nation in the world, but our health outcomes aren’t substantially better....read more
In February, Angelina Jolie had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. This week, she wrote an op-ed about it for the New York Times. And here’s all I’m going to say about it....read more
The New York Times wonders. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists thinks they should be over the counter. The Catholic Medical Association and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists disagree, of course, because their religious beliefs should obviously dictate the kind of health care that the rest of us are able to access....read more
By now you’ve probably all heard about the baby who was born with HIV in rural Mississippi, and now, at 2 1/2 years old, is HIV-free. The child was given an aggressive round of retrovirals upon birth — s/he was born prematurely to a mother who was HIV-positive but didn’t know it. The child was supposed to continue treatment, but the mother stopped coming to appointments, and the baby didn’t receive treatment for a year. Now, in a miraculous turn, the baby is HIV-free....read more