Category Archives: Medicine

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: Continue reading

Posted in Feminism, Health, Medicine, Politics, Religion, Reproductive Rights | 41 Comments

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.” Continue reading

Posted in Law, Medicine, Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights | 45 Comments

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: Continue reading

Posted in Health, Law, Medicine, Politics | 11 Comments

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] Continue reading

Posted in Disability Issues, Medicine, Poverty, Pregnancy, Racism | 12 Comments

A Maternal Health Revolution in Republic of Congo

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.

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Posted in Gender, Health, Medicine, Reproductive Rights | 4 Comments

The Feminist Anti-Contraception Crusaders

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: Continue reading

Posted in Domesticity, Feminism, Gender, Health, Medicine, Politics, Reproductive Rights, Sex | 20 Comments

The Freedom to Abuse Kids

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.
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Posted in Crime, Discrimination, Education, Health, Law, Medicine, Parenthood, Politics, Race & Ethnicity | Tagged , | 148 Comments

The NIH has finally sought consent from the family of Henrietta Lacks

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. Continue reading

Posted in Health, Medicine, Race & Ethnicity | 111 Comments

Is ABC so desperate for ratings that they need to bring an anti-vaxxer to the View?

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? Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Gender, Health, Medicine, Politics, Popular Culture | 86 Comments

The cost of pregnancy and childbirth

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.
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Posted in Discrimination, Gender, Health, Medicine, Politics, Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights | 44 Comments

Angelina Jolie and her mastectomy. (It was going to come up eventually.)

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. Continue reading

Posted in Body image, Celebrity, Media & Media Literacy, Medicine | 118 Comments

Should birth control pills be available without a prescription?

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. Continue reading

Posted in Health, Medicine, Politics, Reproductive Rights | 105 Comments