Category: Health

Meet Your 2016 Legislation

It’s January — a time of credit card debt, resolutions you don’t intend to keep, and new legislation that kicked in at the turn of the calendar. What laws are going to be making your life better — or worse — in 2016? Let’s take a look.

Today’s horrifying news

In today’s (well, I read it yesterday) horrifying news, a Tennessee woman is being charged with attempted murder after trying to self-abort with a coat hanger when she was 24 weeks along. After she began bleeding profusely her boyfriend rushed…

Hundredth verse, same as the first: Talking mental health after mass shootings

We’re now almost four weeks out from the shooting at an Oregon community college that killed nine people and injured ten more, and we know what that means: We can now stop “caring about mental health care” without guilt. Time heals all weaknesses in the mental health system, and while it becomes a subject under great scrutiny whenever a gunman commits a mass shooting, the passage of time, and the accompanying passage of fear, washes away those concerns pretty effectively. (Until the next shooting, of course.) And it happens isn’t because we manage to effectively address all of our problems in the interim but because discussions purportedly focused on Improving Mental Health Care are actually all about Protecting The Good People From The Crazies.

If your cause is solid, you shouldn’t have to lie about it. (Yeah, there’s more video.)

When I was little, in our house, lying was basically the worst offense you could commit. Honesty was a huge thing then, and it remains a huge thing for me now. That’s one reason all of these attacks on Planned Parenthood have been especially heinous to me — the lying to get undercover footage, the misleading editing to create violations that were never committed, the video Carly Fiorina lied about seeing. And now there’s more footage, more Carly Fiorina was right! footage, showing an abortion, unless it doesn’t, but no it totally does, or at least it looks like an abortion, but okay that’s not important because Planned Parenthood is evil.

More blatant lies about Planned Parenthood: The video that Carly Fiorina didn’t see

[Content note: Graphic, if factually questionable, description of purported abortion]

At the Republican presidential debate last Wednesday, Carly Fiorina made waves with an incredible and impassioned story, describing hidden-camera footage of (purportedly) a Planned Parenthood clinic (purportedly) performing a brutal procedure. It was a very dramatic moment, recounted with great intensity, and one can only imagine how painful it must have been to watch that footage.

If it existed. Which it doesn’t.

Investigations reveal that no, seriously, Planned Parenthood isn’t selling baby parts

Recently, I disassembled accusations that Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts. (My argument was basically, “No, both Planned Parenthood and just about everyone in the medical field who knows anything about tissue research and donation agree that Planned Parenthood isn’t selling baby parts, and here’s supporting data.”) Following multiple independent investigations, however, it was revealed Friday that… Planned Parenthood still isn’t selling baby parts.

Going Off: A chronicle of becoming unmedicated

[Content note for depression, anxiety, and the medical treatment thereof]

In a series of posts on the NYT’s “Anxiety” blog, starting in February, Diana Spechler has been documenting the process of (with her doctor’s supervision) going off of the prescription meds that had been treating her anxiety, depression, and insomnia for over a year. Going Off opens with “Breaking Up With My Meds,” outlining how she came into psychopharmacology and why she wanted to get out of it.

No, Planned Parenthood isn’t selling baby parts, and here’s why the lie is so toxic.

The anti-choice narrative since Planned Parenthood’s inception has been that PP has been ghoulishly profiting off of abortions, both by dragging in huge amounts of cash for the procedure and (as is currently under discussion) selling baby parts for exorbitant prices. First of all, I have to inject some basic common sense: If you’re hearing rumors that gloriously satisfy your hate-on for an organization while simultaneously sounding like a late-season plot of Charmed, they’re probably not entirely, or even a little bit, valid. “They sell and/or eat dead babies” has been a charge, throughout history, lobbed against the Chinese, Jewish, pagan, and so many other marginalized people, and never substantiated because people don’t do that. Even the people you’d really, really like to paint as monsters.

Anyway.

Nigeria bans female genital mutilation

[Content note: female genital mutilation (obviously)]

A new ban, passed in May and signed into law by outgoing president Goodluck Jonathan, outlaws female genital mutilation in Nigeria. The practice was banned worldwide by the U.N. in 2012 and already outlawed in several states within Nigeria, but the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 represents a nationwide commitment to the ban. The new law also outlaws abandonment of spouse and/or dependents without financial support, and battery.

Want to do something for Autism Awareness Month?

This series of tweets from @twoscooters sums up the major division in autism activism – the parents of autistic children not listening to the opinions of adults living with autism based on their own life experiences, and too many media and medical organisations siding with those parents: