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Sunday News Round-Up, Leave My Birth Control Alone Edition

February 12, 2012

First, some recent posts at Our Bodies Our Blog:

  • From the White House: Women at Religious Institutions Will have Contraception Covered – includes a video from the Rachel Maddow Show from two days before the statement, but which nicely seats the issue in the context of the current election.
  • New Book: “Health First! The Black Woman’s Wellness Guide” – I haven’t read this yet, but it’s a new book on women’s health from the Black Women’s Health Imperative.
  • Pink Ribbons, Inc. – A Closer Look at Breast Cancer Marketing – I’m really looking forward to seeing this film, especially after all the recent Komen/Planned Parenthood controversy. It’s going to show in several U.S. cities at various events this spring. Pink Ribbons, Inc. people, if you’re reading this, you totally want to hook me up with the showing at the Nashville Film Festival. ;)

    Christine also covered Komen and Planned Parenthood and stupid, sexist “barstool sports,” and Judy has something on Planned Parenthood and the Catholic bishops.

    Finally, Good Vibrations selected Our Bodies Ourselves as one organization it’s supporting during February and March. If you buy something from their website or in stores, select OBOS during checkout to make a donation that goes entirely to the organization. Go on and buy yourself a Valentine’s present. Or, hey, buy me something, since I don’t otherwise have a tip jar. :)

    Now, onto to other things:

    Judy Stone has a great guest post at the Scientific American blogs, Molecules to Medicine: Plan B: The Tradition of Politics at the FDA. Stone ultimately looks at Kathleen Sebelius’s decision to override the FDA’s approval of over-the-counter access to Plan B, but also provides a review of past political decisions and appointees at the FDA, and U.S. government interference in sexual health care and information generally.

    Soraya L. Chemaly has something at The Feminist Wire in response to that ridiculous recent piece in the New York Times about girls and “hysteria.”

    Flanagan closes with the particularly ironic advice that what girls need is “protection from the most corrosive cultural forces that seek to exploit her when she is least able to resist.”…What girls really need is not to be characterized as inherently mad or inclined to the irrational.

    Nick Baumann at Mother Jones writes about The Republican War on Contraception:

    …in the past six months, social conservatives have widened their offensive, and their new target is clear: Not satisfied with making it harder to obtain legal abortions, they want to limit access to birth control, too.

    I’m pretty sure a lot of women have seen this coming for a while.

    I don’t agree with absolutely everything in Nicholas Kristoff’s NY Times piece, “Beyond Pelvic Politics,” but let me just highlight this:

    A 2009 study looked at sexually active American women of modest means, ages 18 to 34, whose economic circumstances had deteriorated. Three-quarters said that they could not afford a baby then. Yet 30 percent had put off a gynecological or family-planning visit to save money. More horrifying, of those using the pill, one-quarter said that they economized by not taking it every day.

    and this:

    If we have to choose between bishops’ sensibilities and women’s health, our national priority must be the female half of our population.

    Rachel Maddow has a piece on the birth control nonsense as well.

    Nationally, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan has introduced a national forced ultrasound bill, which I think I’ll start calling a “forced vaginal insertion of an object” bill. We should require all members of Congress to participate in a simulation display of a transvaginal ultrasound, although I’d be kind of afraid of their reactions.

    A national forced 24-hour waiting period for abortion has also been introduced, this one by South Carolina’s Jeff Duncan.

    Neither of these things is based on medical evidence; both are purely for the purpose of making it more difficult for women to obtain safe, legal, timely abortions. Dr. Jen Gunter talks about what happens to women exposed to inexpert abortion attempts when safe and legal isn’t an option.

    And in Tennessee, Planned Parenthood has sued the state, which previously awarded the organization grants for STI and HIV prevention, but in December yanked the funding without providing an explanation, or an alternative route for those services. One of the affected Memphis sites was reportedly the only place around to get HIV testing done after daytime work hours. Pressed on the issue, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam refused to provide any real explanation of the decision, saying, “The commissioner felt like there were other people who could provide that service just as well.” There was no explanation about why, if that were the case, those others didn’t get the grant during the competitive process last year, and as far as I know, none of those other “just as well” services have actually been awarded the funding.

    Mary at Hoyden About Town has a cool post on soliciting research participants, with a lot of good points on what should be communicated to potential study participants and what researchers owe them for their participation.

    And completely unrelated to anything, I cannot stop looking at these underwater dogs.

    [note: I modified the title after I realized a possible mis-reading of it]

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