Category: Health

Birth control pills are for healthcare. And other stuff.

Waist-down photo of a woman on the subway with her legs crossed at the knees and ankles

Passage of the Affordable Care Act provided a major benefit to women of reproductive age: Employers with religious or moral objections to birth control weren’t allowed to exclude those benefits from health plans just because they thought birth control was wrong. When Trump rolled back that mandate — effective immediately — he removed that protection, meaning that women whose prescriptions had been covered could now have to pay out of pocket for medication crucial to their lives. And it can be crucial — hormonal birth control is essential to treatment of conditions like endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids, and debilitating periods.

It’s also good for other stuff.

Trump has rolled back the ACA protection of birth control coverage, slut

Trump holding two babies, one crying, and making a scrunched-up crying face at an appearance in Colorado Springs

The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2012, included one provision in particular that was crucial to women’s health: It prevented employers from excluding birth control from employer-sponsored insurance plans just because they had a religious or moral objection to it. Now the Trump administration has decided to roll back that mandate, effective immediately, because every single thing Obama did must be undone and it’s perfectly reasonable for God-fearing employers to dictate what women can do with their bodies.

Why I talk about mental illness

Close-up of a woman's smiling face, shot with way too much flash

I haven’t been shy about discussing my mental health on this blog. There’s a lot of privilege behind that — I know that I’m probably not going to suffer ill effects to my life or livelihood if people know about it. That isn’t the case for everyone with mental illnesses, and I would never insist that anyone come forward to talk about theirs if they aren’t comfortable doing so. That’s one reason I talk about it: Because I can, and it needs to be talked about.

The Las Vegas shooting was a tragedy. That doesn’t mean mental illness is at fault.

A wide shot of Vegas casinos as seen from the street, with people milling around

In Las Vegas Sunday night, a gunman in the Mandalay Bay hotel used many, many automatic weapons to rain fire on fans at a country music festival, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500. We currently have absolutely no idea why. And while it’s natural to speculate and distance ourselves when we’re scared and confused, declaring it a mental health issue without evidence indicating that it’s so isn’t helpful to anyone and is actively harmful to people with mental illnesses.

Let’s talk about inspiration pr0n.

Rebecca Schmitt, Rashema Mason, Griffin Furlong, and Crystal Tarbell are incredible young people — they endured homelessness and incredible emotional hardship to become valedictorian at their high school and earn college scholarships. Their stories make for inspirational, heartwarming reads — unless you pause long enough to ask, “In what world should a girl and her family end up homeless because they can’t afford her mother’s cancer treatment?”

Week 1 in the Trump White House: So that happened.

In case the blackening of the skies, shaking of the earth, and disembodied screams of the damned didn’t clue you in, Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States one week ago today. (Just kidding; as Trump himself will tell you, there were no blackened skies because the rain stopped and the sun came out the moment he started speaking.)

Senate Republicans take aim at the ACA, wing it, adjust their stance

Last night, under cover of darkness, Senate Republicans bypassed “roll back and revise” and “repeal and replace” with a third option for addressing the Affordable Care Act: “repeal and go fuck yourself,” wherein they repeal the current ACA and replace with jack shit. At 1:00 this morning, following a charmingly named all-night “Vote-a-Rama,” the Senate voted 51-48 along party lines to pass a budget measure that’s the first step in demolishing the ACA.

An Invitation for Meaningful Dialogue

A photo of a tan puppy and a gray tabby kitten sleeping together

There’s been a lot of talk lately about dialogue and understanding. Liberals just need to try to understand conservatives, They say. People get defensive when you call them (or, more often, even just imply that they might be) bigots, They say. If we want to get anything accomplished, we need to meet conservatives halfway, (in which “halfway” is usually defined as “on their side”), They say. Generally, the response from the liberal camp is, “Fuck that shit.” You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into. It’s hard and unsatisfying, and maybe the New York Times needs to do a Dialogue and Understanding piece about people who are being asked to take on that struggle. That said, dialogue can happen. Here’s how.

Note to lawmakers: Rape does result in pregnancy

[Content note for rape.]

This appears to be a tough one.

The whole thing about how rape does result in pregnancy.

(I’m guessing that has something to do with a lack of comprehensive sex education. That’s why it’s important, y’all.)

But lawmakers, officially, for the record, in case it comes up in the future and you absolutely can’t resist your better judgment not to talk about it: Rape does result in pregnancy.

With “significant frequency,” according to the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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…