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
Read on for a self-indulgent blather about mental illness, medication, creativity, and a little bit of self pity. Or don’t. Whatever. Potentially triggery for bipolar II....read more
Birmingham, Alabama, is home to a world-renowned teaching and research institution. Discoveries in cancer research, endocrinology, transplant medicine, surgery, and literally dozens of other specialties have significant impact across the globe. Twenty miles south in Pelham, Alabama state Representative Mary Sue McClurkin is stupid as a bucket of hair and thinks a baby is a bodily organ....read more
In the Times’ “Booming” series, a famous concert pianist writes about her transition – being forced to fly to Thailand for the surgery she needed (and having that surgery botched), seeing her career opportunities dry up, facing legal housing discrimination. A move to Canada opens up more opportunities, but her home country — the United States — rejects her, then shifts a bit, but still doesn’t open its arms. And she’s “lucky” — she’s educated and talented and class-privileged. Her life isn’t tragic; she’s fine, and talented, and married to the woman she loves. But because her existence troubles some people, she can’t get gigs, can’t get an apartment, can’t get a job. So we lose her to other places that are more open. We lose trans women and men in worse ways — to violence, to hiding, to death. And for what, exactly?...read more
It’s October, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the U.S. is awash in a sea of bubblegum pink. The most recognizable, of course, is that of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and their ubiquitous pink ribbon, pink t-shirts, and potentially carcinogenic co-branded pink products. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help “end breast cancer forever”–catch it early, treat it effectively, and discover and eliminate the reasons it occurs in the first place–without going through SGK. The simplest way is just to go straight to the source....read more
Feministe friend Jessica Grose has an important series up at Slate on prenatal depression, its pervasiveness, and the stigma still attached to it (Part 1 is here; you can click through at the bottom of the piece to read parts two and three). After detailing her own experiences with depression during her pregnancy, Grose looks at the utter dearth of conversation (and certainly empathy) for women who are pregnant and clinically depressed. She writes:...read more
Starting September 3, baby formula will be a controlled substance at some New York City hospitals. Under the health department’s voluntary Latch On NYC program, 27 hospitals are literally hiding the baby formula under lock and key, tucking it away in distant storerooms and locked dispensaries like legitimate medications that need to be tracked. [See update. -C] Nurses will be expected to document a medical reason for every bottle a newborn receives, and mothers will get a breastfeeding lecture every time they ask for a bottle of formula.
(Now with 100 percent more updates!)...read more
The grand prize in this year’s Google Science Fair went to Brittany Wenger, 17, who wrote a “global neural network cloud service” app to help doctors diagnose breast cancer. Wenger’s Cloud4Cancer correctly identifies 99 percent of malignant tumors....read more
A week ago, Arizona HB 2036 passed the state Senate and headed to the House. The bill centers around the belief that a fetus feels pain at 20 weeks and thus bans abortion after 20 weeks of gestation (with an exception for the life of the mother). HB 2036 specifies gestational age “as calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman,” leading many to believe that it actually bans abortion after 18 weeks of gestation.
This isn’t accurate. It’s still 20 weeks. But there is so, so much more to be angry about....read more
As the furor over Komen’s de-funding of Planned Parenthood continues, more and more myths about PP, its mission, and the impact of this cruel and foolish decision are getting thrown around. Frequently, those myths get lost and go uncorrected in the presence of bigger and more ideological arguments.
That’s really not fair.
Alas, this is merely the tip of the bullshit iceberg. As the Komen debacle is nowhere near coming to an end, we can expect new and exciting myths and lies to arise, like the head of a Hydra, as others are debunked. To that end, watch this space, and by all means contribute your own debunkings in comments....read more
The truth is that anti-Planned-Parenthood sentiments aren’t about abortion; they’re about hostility to women, and particularly to female sexuality. Abortion makes up 3% of its services. Cancer screening and prevention are 17%.