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Sunday News Round-Up, Not on Vacation Edition

August 21, 2011

I know I’ve been posting infrequently when I get an email from a reader saying they thought I might be on vacation. 🙂 I’m not. That message was about updates in the Juana Villegas case, which I’ll post about separately later this week. In the meantime, here are some things that have caught my attention recently:

New York City is going to make sure middle and high school students get at least a little sex ed as part of their health education classes. Good.

Maternal mortality for Black women got a bit of attention at BET.

The New York Times explores the issue of pregnancy reduction when there are twins/two fetuses. “Selective reduction” is pretty well accepted (but not uncontroversial) when there are many fetuses, but it apparently seems more complicated to some folks when there are fewer/two.

More race-focused anti-abortion billboard crap (via Trust Black Women). The billboards offer a link to a site that Jesse Jackson has betrayed Black people by supporting abortion rights and implying that something is necessarily wrong *about abortion* when Black women have a higher percentage of the abortions in a state than their percentage of the population (i.e., if Black women are 15% of the state’s population but have 30% of the abortions). Of course, nothing on the site explores the systemic reasons Black women might choose *for themselves* to have abortions.

From Wisconsin’s Journal Sentinel: “Wisconsin’s attempt to ban hormone therapy for transgender prison inmates is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.” It was apparently the only state with such a ban on this specific medical treatment for prisoners.

NPR covered birth control and religion in Pakistan.

In Murfreesboro, TN (where I used to live), two women were arrested and charged with reckless endangerment after their babies were born with opiates in their system and needed special care for opiate withdrawal. I feel pretty strongly that – while drug use in pregnancy can have negative affects on both woman and child – criminalization of pregnant women with drug use/addiction problems may cause these women to actually avoid medical care, making the situation worse for everyone involved. I think treatment is a much better option. National Advocates for Pregnant Women is a great resource on this issue – see their website for further exploration of the topic.

This item at Microaggressions reminds those of us who ever have input into website creation to think about what we’re doing when we force people to select a gender to participate, and only give them the binary choices.

At Queer Musings, “How to Be a Friend to Trans Folks Without Putting Your Foot in Your Mouth: A Short Guide for Cis People” (via Womanist Musings).

Renee at Womanist Musings also has an important post, “A Forced Eugenics Survivor Speaks Her Truth.”

I recently watched the documentary, “12th & Delaware” – the title is a reference to the Florida corner where a “crisis pregnancy center” sits across from an abortion clinic, the focus of the film. Anybody else seen it?

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