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Sunday News Round-Up, Staying Inside Until September Edition

July 1, 2012

On Friday, Nashville, TN broke its all time high temperature record. I might melt – I spent 20-25 minutes walking around unshaded parking lots looking for a ZipCar when it was 108ish out, and thought I was going to throw up. Here’s what the CDC has to offer for tips on staying safe in extreme heat.

Don’t forget to check out the Our Bodies, Our Votes campaign from Our Bodies Ourselves, order your stickers, and submit your photos to the tumblr!

Speaking of OBOS, some of my recent posts there include: “Our Bodies, Ourselves” Part of Library of Congress’s “Books that Shaped America” Exhibit; Doctor Speaks Out Against Abortion Laws That Require Lying to Patients; Hormonal Contraception and Heart Risks.

Mississippi’s only abortion clinic – in the whole, 47,000 square mile state – may close, because of a law requiring providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. A similar law was proposed in Tennessee, and I wrote here about why these laws are actually completely unnecessary for the safety of abortion clinic patients. Bottom line: this law is not actually intended to improve safety, does not reflect how medicine actually works in emergencies, and is meant solely to restrict access to a legal medical service. Period. The Center for Reproductive Rights is working to fight the law. If the law takes effect, I think some serious direct action will be needed – extremely organized busing of women to other states, for example.

Dr. Jen Guntner also calls these restrictions “medical nonsense”. She writes:

In the end, HB 1390 does nothing to make abortion safer for the women of Mississippi. It will delay access to care and result in more later term abortions as women scrape together enough funds to go out-of-state. Or take matters into their own hands.

HB 1390 is an example of how legislators know nothing about medicine and are simply abusing legislative privilege to bypass Roe vs. Wade under the guise of making abortion “safer” for women.

In other bad-news-for-Southern-states, Louisiana eliminated about a million dollars in state aid to libraries, leaving folks wondering what low income people will do who rely on the libraries for computer and internet access to apply for jobs, apply for benefits, and keep in touch with family.

I liked this bit from Forbes, 7 Ways You’re Hurting Your Daughter’s Future – it talks about some different ways in which promoting gendered stereotypes limits girls’ options, interests, and futures, and challenges the idea that the very things we’re pushing girls to do and be since birth are innate preferences, rather than socialization. Good stuff.

Loretta Ross of SisterSong was on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show to talk about attacks against abortion clinics in Georgia. Loretta is a passionate advocate for justice, and I was honored to meet her and see her speak at last fall’s Our Bodies Ourselves 40th anniversary symposium. Videos from that event are archived online.

The New Yorker recently ran a piece asking why so many evangelical teens get pregnant.

I really liked this video interview with astronomer Dr. Meghan Gray, who talks about the stereotypes in an ad campaign to encourage girls to go into science, and how the campaign fails to reflect the real life of a scientist and may actually discourage girls from pursuing careers in sciences.

Even when you adjust for hours worked and specialty, among doctors, women get paid less than men. The author of the news piece talks about having thought medicine was somehow one of the only professions actually judging on merit, which is just laughable if you’re been around medicine at all. There are some extremely old-fashioned and prejudiced people in medicine. It’s a profession that attracts a lot of people who are already coming from very privileged backgrounds, and which has been extremely white male dominated until the very recent past (and still very much is, in leadership positions). Why anybody would think that wouldn’t spill over into attitudes about women, minorities, or generally underrepresented or disadvantaged groups (and their resulting pay grades) is really beyond me.

There’s a new national resource center for preventing HIV/AIDS among adolescents.

Feministe has an amusing hymen primer for romance novelists, with a quite entertaining comments section.

Oh, hey, the Supreme Court didn’t kill off the Affordable Care Act. Here’s a quick look at some of what that means for women.

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