As I continue to work many hours to reach the 10 births required to complete my orientation, my schedule is filled to the brim with work, leaving little time leftover to process. Hoping that this week has a few moments. Since I missed my own preparatory and active work into this year’s World Aids Day, that post will be filled with beautiful pieces from others, to come in a few days. And now, we are in December, with the political season wound down, pregnant bellies bulging through last year’s winter coats, and tree leaves replaced with lights brightening the night. Some great stuff come out this week not related to World Aids Day, and I share my favorites with you below.
She says it all. This is from earlier this year, but resurfaced and is important. Goodness Hillary is amazing.
Pro-choice Republicans go public – Victoria Toensing at The Washington Post
An example of extremists choosing women as a main target, as a platform, and mixing politics with religion in a country that was intended to be founded on religious freedom. I am still so confused as to how we lost our way, and how women’s rights became the focus.
“…I was a founding board member of Women in the Senate and House (WISH), an organization created to elect pro-choice Republican women. In that capacity, and having worked for pro-choice conservative Barry Goldwater, I have spoken with numerous Republican senators about abortion. One Southern conservative told me to tell him if we ever needed a crucial vote. But because his publicly stated view was pro-life, he cautioned, he could go only so far.
A senator from the Northeast told me he had not thought about the issue before seeking office in 1980. When he had to take a position, he followed Ronald Reagan’s lead. A decade later, he told me, he realized that government had no business telling pregnant women what to do but, politically, he could not reverse his stand.
I never believed that Mitt Romney rejected his pro-choice position because of one meeting with doctors and learning what was done to stem cells. Rather, I thought he had one meeting with political consultants who told him he could never get the Republican nomination unless he was pro-life…
Today, any Republican who believes, as I do, in a strong national defense and fiscal conservatism, and that limited government is consistent with being publicly pro-choice, knows that if she takes the latter position she will get creamed in the primary. The choice is to not run or to get in the closet. By discouraging potential candidates, our tent gets smaller and we end up with a Richard Mourdock and a Todd Akin, who confuse rape with sex…”
A quote that really gets to the crux of the issue on behalf of many women.
Young people’s sexual health matters – Louise Tickle at The Guardian
A great discussion about how to consider adolescents’ needs, and any woman’s need, when it comes to contraceptive choice, education, and management.
“…Young people may also not entirely trust that health professionals will give them all the information, negative as well as positive, about a particular method they’re being advised to try. They know, says Dr Caroline Cooper, a specialist in sexual and reproductive health “that we want them to have long-acting contraception and worry that they won’t be able to stop it if they want it taken out. They might have a friend who’s been and the doctor has said, well, just give it a bit longer to settle down, when really they wanted it out. And it only takes one person in a friendship group to say they’ve not had a good experience [to put others off.]”
Health professionals need to accept their priorities may not be the same as those of teenagers, and allow young people to make a choice they’re comfortable with, say Mallas and Cooper.
“Young women worry about the hormones and particularly about weight gain,” says Cooper. “That’s at the bottom of doctors’ list of worries but often near the top of theirs. With the long-acting methods, the implant and the injection, and the IUD, they worry about the procedure.”…
Sexual Assault Survivors at Amherst Speak Out With “It Happens Here” Photo Series – Tyler Kingkade at The Huffington Post
Based on Project Unbreakable… powerful and important work.
…”Photos are visual and engaging, and they can be a powerful tool for documenting social injustice,” Lee, said. “I think partly what made this project so powerful was that it was specific to Amherst College — the survivors involved are our friends and peers, people we know, and the quotations are also from members of our community.”
The young women behind the project see hope in how the administration has handled the problems on campus, particularly Amherst College President Biddy Martin.
“I’m encouraged by Biddy’s response,” Bolger said. “She’s been very quick in instituting a number of immediate changes. I’m confident that she will continue to work to improve survivors’ experiences here.”
Caveats remain, Bolger added. The administration only started to take action after it received widespread negative media attention, she said, and “the changes can’t be all top down. Amherst students need to examine the ways in which we perpetuate rape culture on campus.”…
Here’s What a Misogynistic Sore Loser Says to The Strong Woman in Charge – Deepa Kunapuli at Upworthy
Again, she says it all.
Contraception and The Changing Role of Medical Providers in an Over-the-Counter World – Miriam Perez at RH Reality Check
After ACOG’s statement proposing oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) be offered over-the-counter, there’s a lot to consider about what yearly exams mean for women: pelvic exam not required, provider-performed tests not required, and annual exams could really focus on what matters in women’s lives related to their health.
“…One less yearly expense for women without health insurance, or those whose health insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of an annual appointment. One less thing to schedule around work, child care, and other life responsibilities. One less interaction with a provider that might not be friendly, or affirming, or even helpful. And in a health care system with ballooning costs, fewer required medical visits is also good news.
But there is a potential downside as well. One less opportunity to be screened for STIs, just because you’re already there for an exam. One less chance for a breast exam that you might not be doing at home. One less chance for the provider to ask you about emotional health, or your sexual satisfaction, or anything else that might come up in a routine appointment that would otherwise go unexamined.
The ideal interaction outlined above is not, of course, what everyone currently experiences with their providers. How many of you have ever been asked about sexual satisfaction during a gynecological visit? Or emotional health? Or anything at all, for that matter? With some exceptional providers excluded, there remains much to be desired when it comes to medical care in this country. I know few people who are satisfied with their medical providers.
Selling birth control pills over the counter is just another step toward putting responsibility for our own health care back in our own hands. It says you are capable of making these decisions about what brand or method is right for you—no need for an expert opinion beyond your own.
It’s just the latest possible development in what I think is an exciting trend of people, especially women, taking back a much larger role in their own health care…”
Why Birth Control is Still a Big Idea – Melinda Gates at Foreign Policy
A primer on the central role of contraception in the global agenda for women – keep up the work, Melinda.
“When I visit family-planning wards at health clinics in African countries, there are always plenty of free condoms available. Condoms are vitally important, especially because they also help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS. But there’s a problem: The overwhelming majority of African women can’t rely on condoms for birth control because their husbands refuse to use them.
In the same way that American women prefer contraceptive pills, which they don’t have to negotiate with their partners, African women favor contraceptive injections over condoms. But because of supply constraints, supply-chain problems, and outdated public policies, these injections are frequently out of stock. To take one example, in Kaduna, Nigeria, a city of some 1.5 million people, there were 226 days last year when not a single public health clinic had injections available.
If you are focused simply on making sure contraceptives are available, you can stockpile condoms and call it a day. But if your goal is helping women build the lives they want for themselves and their families, the bar is higher….”
Alex Morgan, Missy Franklin, Laila Ali Talk Body Image And How Sports Builds Confidence – Amy Parlapiano at The PostGame
Strong women encouraging strength in body image beliefs in other women.
…”It’s important for women to feel confident in their own body, whether they have broad shoulders or big calves, or whatever,” Morgan says. “I have big calves and I love showing off my legs because of it. So whether your body is athletic, or skinny, or big-boned, it doesn’t matter. You should love it no matter what.”
That’s the kind of confidence and influence that Morgan, who the WSF named Sportswoman of the Year for a team sport, brings with her everywhere she goes.
It’s what defines the spirit of women’s sports and these female athletes.
It’s what continues to inspire the future faces of women’s sports — and it’s why in ten years, the girls out there who want to be Alex Morgan so badly right now will be the ones on this very red carpet, being told by the mothers out there how badly their daughters want to be like them.”