Reminder: I am giving away a copy of Birth Matters: a midwife’s manifesta to readers who comment on the review here.
Is it really the end of September already? I feel like there should have been a more definitive warning that October was upon us, but goodness that chilly morning air is among the list of my favorite things right now. And the trees outside are starting to change the leaves on the lower branches those classic fall colors. Doesn’t it make you want to put on your heavier coat, wear your fuzzy slippers, and study up for November’s vote? Hope your September finishes peacefully and with a calm beginning to October. Oh, and check out “Call the Midwife” on PBS tonight!
Did y’all catch the new American College of Nurse-Midwives Campaign? Our Moment of Truth: A New Understanding of Midwifery Care is an incredible effort toward speaking of the truths and facts about midwives, dispelling myths and answering FAQs about our care, and advertising midwifery as the awesome work that it is. If you have worked with a midwife and would like to share your experience, go here to tell your story! Or, take the pledge to take control of your healthcare decisions!
“The purpose of Our Moment of Truth™ is to improve women’s health and maternity care in the United States by re-introducing midwives and midwifery care as important options that should be the norm for women’s health care services. The time is now for women everywhere—including you—to understand how midwives partner with women to improve their health throughout their lives…
Your health needs are unique. To get the care that you deserve, you need a provider who understands you—your past experiences, current situation, future goals, work, family, sexual identity, and faith. You may never have stopped to think about what you want and need in a women’s health care provider. Midwives are a great option to provide this personalized care, but myths about midwifery and midwives prevent many women from considering using a midwife.
Public education and change go hand in hand. That’s why Our Moment of Truth™ aims to increase awareness and understanding of the different care options available. We do this by providing an outlet in which to talk openly about your health needs and concerns. We offer new insights about the midwifery profession that you can share with friends and family members to complete the circle of care. Through the Our Moment of Truth™ model, real change can begin.”
This preview will have those working with low-income populations nodding, taking deep breaths, and crying. A beautiful portrayal of the hard work from both providers and patients. Brilliant. Word is it comes out June 12, 2013.
“The Waiting Room is a character-driven documentary film that uses extraordinary access to go behind the doors of an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients. The film – using a blend of cinema verité and characters’ voiceover – offers a raw, intimate, and even uplifting look at how patients, staff and caregivers each cope with disease, bureaucracy and hard choices.
The ER waiting room serves as the grounding point for the film, capturing in vivid detail what it means for millions of Americans to live without health insurance. Young victims of gun violence take their turn alongside artists and small business owners who lack insurance. Steel workers, taxi cab drivers and international asylum seekers crowd the halls. The film weaves the stories of several patients – as well as the hospital staff charged with caring for them – as they cope with the complexity of the nation’s public health care system, while weathering the storm of a national recession.
The Waiting Room lays bare the struggle and determination of both a community and an institution coping with limited resources and no road map for navigating a health care landscape marked by historic economic and political dysfunction. It is a film about one hospital, its multifaceted community, and how our common vulnerability to illness binds us together as humans.”
Reddit Users Attempt to Shame Sikh Woman, Get Righteously Schooled – Lindy West at Jezebel
As Lindy says at the end of the post a la Dr. Seuss, “My heart grew three sizes this day.”
“I’m not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positve] that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am. Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn’t reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. :-)”
Is there any end to the awesomeness of SomeEcards? Nope, there is not. I love the term “lady parts.” This week my patients have referred to their lady parts as Kunte Kinte, the man in the boat, she, down there, and woo woo. Whatever you call it, vote with it.
National LGBT Health Education Center Webinar Series
“Introduction to LGBT Health: Ending Invisibility, Overcoming Disparities
Date: October 9, 2012, from 3:00-4:00 pm, ET
Faculty: Harvey J. Makadon, MD, Director of the National LGBT Health Education Center and Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Description: This training webinar will provide an overview of LGBT health disparities, demographics, and terminology, as well as key strategies for bringing high quality care to LGBT people at health centers and other health care organizations. Participants will also learn about creating LGBT-inclusive environments of care and about the intersections of LGBT health, population health and patient centered medical homes. There will be time for questions and discussion.“
Did y’all know this was going on? I certainly did not, but love that it’s happening! Feminist Majority Foundation is so freaking cool. Registration is open through this coming Monday, October 1st.
“This October, students, graduates, and community activists from around the Midwest will come together to participate in an exciting feminist activist dialogue. Join in our ongoing discussion about what it means to be a feminist activist in the Midwest, how to educate and engage our campuses/communities, and what it takes to challenge anti-feminist legislation and patriarchal culture. We’ll share our knowledge and experiences in workshops, share our skills in skillshares, meet and share meals with other activists, and share a common space that promotes communication and equality in order to better our own activism at home.”
“Women value the ability to plan their childbearing, and view doing so as critical to being able to achieve their life goals,” says study author Laura Lindberg. “They need continued access to a wide range of contraceptives so they can plan their families and determine when they are ready to have children…
Notably, the reasons women give for using contraception are similar to the reasons they give for seeking an abortion,” according to Lawrence B. Finer, author of a previous Guttmacher study on that topic. “This means we should see access to abortion in the broader context of women’s lives and their efforts to avoid unplanned childbearing, in light of its potential consequences for them and their families.”
Morning After Pill Comes to NYC Schools: Kate McDonough at Salon
“For more than a year now, five New York City schools have been quietly running a pilot program that makes the morning after pill available to teens over the age of 14. CATCH (Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health) — believed to be the first program of its kind in the nation — enables teens to access the full range of their reproductive choices, without parental notification, in the event of unwanted pregnancy. The program recently expanded to 13 schools — and some officials are pushing to implement it citywide.
It’s a move that has been met with surprisingly little controversy. The relative peace over the often volatile subject of comprehensive sex education might be due to the dropout rate among pregnant teens in New York City. According to the Department of Health, around 7,000 girls under the age of 17 get pregnant every year. Of the 2,200 who carry those pregnancies to term, 70 percent will drop out of school. By making emergency contraceptives safely and freely available — 567 students have already been prescribed Plan B through the program — CATCH might just be able to change that.”
“In April, the Vatican criticized the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for “serious doctrinal problems” and “radical feminist themes.” How did you react to that rebuke?
I was startled. We all were. It was such a misrepresentation of who we are. We don’t teach doctrine. Our focus is service and pastoral care.
The Vatican found fault with the American sisters for, among other things, not taking a hard stance against same-sex marriage. What is your personal view of gay rights?
Gay or straight, people are human beings and should have equal rights. Marriage is a complicated issue, I know. But I believe all human beings can commit to one another for life.
A popular bumper sticker declares: “You Can’t Be Pro-Choice and Catholic!” Or can you?
When I studied Catholic theology [while earning a master’s from Manhattan College], I learned that the essence of morality is conscience. Choices can be very complicated. Our role is to train people to develop consciences.
Do you believe the church should ordain women as priests?
I’m hedging here. Eventually, there will be room for that. I do understand that the church teaching is that only men can be priests. I believe firmly in the equality of men and women.”
Wake the F Up: Samuel L. Jackson for Obama
Saving Lives that Give Life: Preventing Maternal Deaths and Advancing Women’s Health
Did you miss this on Friday? The webcast is available online here!
“Investing resources in the health and well-being of women benefits societies in multiple ways. Recent years have witnessed the global development community focused increasingly on advancing women’s health. Yet, many challenges — some life threatening — persist. More than 280,000 women died in 2010 during pregnancy and from childbirth complications, according to the United Nations. Many of those deaths and injuries were preventable. Access to quality health care and health education remains crucial. ThisForum event featured three unique perspectives — Dean Julio Frenk, who has called for a Women and Health agenda; Professor Ana Langer, who has been a leading researcher and advocate to improve health care for women; and Christy Turlington Burns, who has spurred public interest in preventing maternal deaths through her documentary No Woman, No Cry and her Every Mother Counts advocacy and mobilization campaign.”
And, to top it all of, a child doing what she wants to do, where she wants to do it. Get it, girl.