USDA Official Steps Down Due To Morning-After Pill Politics

Susan Wood, a senior member of the FDA and women’s health advocate, stepped down from her position because of the decision to delay the morning-after pill again despite being found safe for over the counter availability.

Her letter of resignation says in part:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I regret to tell you that I am leaving the FDA, and will no longer be serving as the Assistant Commissioner for Women’s Health and Director of the FDA Office of Women’s Health. The recent decision announced by the Commissioner about emergency contraception, which continues to limit women’s access to a product that would reduce unintended pregnancies and reduce abortions is contrary to my core commitment to improving and advancing women’s health. I have spent the last 15 years working to ensure that science informs good health policy decisions. I can no longer serve as staff when scientific and clinical evidence, fully evaluated and recommended for approval by the professional staff here, has been overruled. I therefore have submitted my
resignation effective today.

I will greatly miss working with such an outstanding group of scientists, clinicians and support staff. FDA’s staff is of the highest caliber and it has been a privilege to work with you all. I hope to have future opportunities to work with you in a different capacity.

Had I been in her position I too would have been frustrated all to hell. The Bush administration record on scientific accuracy is poor at best. I only wish she hadn’t left. It appears we’ve lost a significant ally.

Posted in Health, Politics, Reproductive Rights | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Leslie Crocker Snyder for DA!

If you live in New York, get your ass out and vote for Leslie Crocker Snyder! I’ve been a big fan of this woman, ever since she came and spoke to College Democrats at NYU. She’s dynamic. She was the first woman ever to try homicide cases at the Manhattan DA’s office, and fought her way into that unit . When she first asked her boss if she could transfer to homicide, he turned her down. When she asked again, he said he’d consider it, under one condition — that she got her husband’s permission.

She didn’t, but made it into the unit anyway. She founded and let the Sex Crimes Prosecution Bureau, and co-authored New York’s rape shield laws. She has spent decades trying to reform the racist and misguided Rockefeller Drug Laws. She’s a huge supporter of rehabiliation programs for non-violent offenders, and an advocate of community courts and instituting local legal resources in a variety of languages, to give as many disempowered people as possible access to the legal system.

Her one flaw is that she is technically in support of the death penalty. But when she spoke at NYU, a friend of mine asked her about her position, which she clarified, saying that she only supports the death penalty in the most extreme cases — for example, a terrorist who manages to blow up a building and kill hundreds of people, or a mass murderer. I still don’t agree, but the fact is that the death penalty isn’t really an issue in New York. Oh, and my anti-death-penalty friend who asked the question was so impressed with her that he now works for her campaign.

Even The New York Times has endorsed her. So get out and support Leslie!

Posted in Crime, Feminism, Politics | 7 Comments

What To Do About Statutory Rape

I sure as hell don’t know how such issues should be dealt with, but this story is indeed disturbing. Girl, 12, starts dating man, 20. At 14, she gets pregnant and they get married. She was in eighth grade. He was 24.

Now, will it do any good at this point to lock the guy up? No, it probably won’t. In fact, it’ll probably just make it harder on the 14-year-old child who is now at home with a newborn baby. But this relationship is obviously, um, problematic. I’m not trying to be judgmental here, but I’m pretty sure that when a 12-year-old and a 20-year-old are in a sexual relationship (or a business relationship, or any relationship), there’s going to be an inherent power differentiation, and a serious issue of judgment and maturity (on the 12-year-old’s part by simply being 12, and on the 20-year-old’s part for having sex with a child).

I’ve said before that I think it’s important to let women make their own decisions, and to let them be their own moral agents. I’ve also said that being of minor age should not strip someone of their right to their own body. I certainly stand by those statements. But where does statutory rape come in — particularly the more extreme kind, like this? Thoughts?

Posted in Crime, Sexual Assault | Tagged , , | 34 Comments

1.1 Million More Poor

The U.S. poverty rate has risen to 12.7 percent in the past year, adding more than 1.1 million more people to the ranks of those living in poverty — meaning that 37 million Americans are now in the poorest sector of society. Interestingly, the poorest areas of the nation are the south and the midwest. Why, may I ask, are these people still voting for Republicans who economically exploit them and sell their interests down the river in the name of big oil, war-mongering and half-cocked versions of “morality”?

Anyone else think it’s a coincidence that the last time the poverty rate fell was in 2000 — right before Our Great Leader took office?

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Texas Law Could Mean Death Penalty For Doctors

Texas doctors who perform abortions without parental approval or after the third trimester could face capital murder charges because of a new law that takes effect this week, a prosecutors group says.

The Texas District and County Attorneys Association has outlined that scenario in its new book updating the Texas penal code and in public presentations around the state. The group says such charges could occur under the new law because of the 2003 fetal protection law.

Key legislators said Monday that wasn’t their intent.

Not your intent? Sorry, you’re just another cog in the spin wheel.

The fetal protection bill was designed to allow for prosecution of a person who harms or kills an embryo or fetus, supporters say. Exceptions were made for legal drug use, action taken by the mother or a “lawful medical procedure.”

But legislators this year defined two scenarios that would be “prohibited practice” in medicine: performing an abortion on an unmarried girl under age 18 without proper consent, and performing an abortion in the third trimester that isn’t covered by certain exceptions. The law takes effect Thursday.

If this were about the sanctity of human life we would a) not penalize doctors with the death penalty, and b) penalize the women who have abortions as well. If this were not about control of women’s sexuality the woman’s marital status would not be of concern.

In other news, see the Dawn Eden Guide On How To Handle Your Rape. Nope. It’s not about control.

via Bush v. Choice

Posted in Reproductive Rights | Tagged , | 9 Comments

That Music Thing

Okay, everyone’s doing it. If everyone else jumped off a bridge, I would too. Because the list accompanying the year of my high school graduation is so bad (I liked one solitary song) I’m completing the list, at Norbizness’ suggestion, from the year when I was thirteen.

If this doesn’t make me feel like a baby around you fogies I don’t know what will.

Songs liked in bold, songs hated crossed out. I can guarantee there will be a pattern to this awful list.

Continue reading

Posted in Music | 12 Comments

More Miss NYU

Naked girl, on a dorm room bed, covered in money. But hey, it’s for charity!

(thanks to Maya for the link)

Posted in Business, Education, Feminism | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

No Blog Indispensable

Kos:

I mean to say, “where’s them damn burkas when you need them?”

Charming.

Posted in Feminism, Recommended | Tagged | 31 Comments

Katrina

Y’all okay?

Tagged | 3 Comments

You Like Prince?

I resisted Mount Sims for a long, long while, but last night the boyfriend forced me to sit down and listen to the stuff. So here I am sitting in my computer chair shamelessly rocking out to this seedy, Prince-like, electro jam. If you’re like me, you’ll have to ignore the lyrics to enjoy the music. This grew on me despite my deep, snobbish, anti-electronic reservations.

Rational Behavior (my favorite)
Good Behavior
How We Do

Right click, save as. You Mac users do whatever it is that you do.

Posted in Music | Tagged | 14 Comments

School and School

How I feelThe first week of the semester is over and my future responsibilities are staring me in the face. For those who aren’t keeping up, I begin my official student teaching practicum in about five weeks. I met with my mentor teacher last week and found that she wants the entire ten-week practicum planned out in advance, lesson plans and all, before I begin. This is, if you don’t know, an enormous task. What’s worse is that she handed me a stack of books and said something to the effect of, “These should get you started, but we don’t really use them.”

Hence the picture above.

The stress is already getting to me, so I’m ignoring it for the rest of the evening, made myself a five-herb quiche, some chocolate chip cookies with Ethan, and an beginning to start a new knitting project now that the last one is almost done.

I have begun blogging at my ed-blog again* — bookmark me and stop by if you want to read my school-related rants and harried bleggings for lesson plans and methodology. In a few days I will remove this link and make that blog pseudonymous to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent, so hurry!

* Link removed.

Posted in Education | Tagged | 13 Comments

Why is anyone still shopping at American Apparel?

American Apparel has been celebrated as a young, socially responsible company that rejects sweatshop labor and pays its workers well. This is all true. But for those of you who missed the Jane article documenting the bad behavior of AA’s founder, Dov “Walking Erection” Charney, here it is. Jane is also doing a little poll to see if the article about Charney (in which he masturbates in front of a female reporter, among other things) influences anyone’s decision to shop at AA. The article is interesting, and Jane is a great feminist-leaning mainstream publication, so check it out.

If you don’t live in New York or LA, you may not have seen AA’s ads. They feature out-of-the-mold (but still really beautiful) girls in kiddie-porn-like poses — you can see a few of them on the AA website.
Continue reading

Posted in Business, Feminism, Sex | Tagged | 33 Comments