Favorites from this week

I recently went shopping with a friend, and in the dressing room she asked me, “What is your power color?” after I complimented her on how great she looked in a top, that apparently is in her power color. Then, at a baby shower over the weekend, a friend referenced work she was doing to maintain power in her life before and after the baby comes. Two references to ‘power’ from two very awesome women. I have not thought about my own power very much lately, perhaps feeling consumed with power of others. To hear friends discuss their thoughts about power, from the perhaps simple idea of a ‘power color’ to a more daunting task of organizing time around large family changes, really has awakened my attention to my own sense of power. I will admit that the past few days it has not been an easy task, to think about my own power after not thinking about it at all in so long. Hoping you all are feeling powerful in your lives, and if not, perhaps start, like I did today, with finding your power color. 

From Womankind Worldwide’s Facebook Page:

Audre Lorde IWD


Life’s Unequal Beginnings – Alice Proujansky at The New York Times

A nod to international work being done, as it often is, in the throes of everyone’s best intentions. The beautiful photo essay is available here

“The maternity ward, which saw 600 deliveries per month, lacked hot water and dependable electricity in a country whose maternal mortality rate was among the highest in the Caribbean. Caesarean sections were very common. The doctors and nurses were brusque, and women who had induced abortions illegally and then come to the hospital for care were scolded until they cried before being sent to recover beside newborn babies.

Despite all of this, the female obstetrician I photographed was kind, hardworking and underpaid, doing what she felt was best…”

Restoring Family Planning Cuts Without Ruffling Feathers – Becca Aaronson at The Texas Tribune

Only after realizing the extent of money to be spent is it worth providing primary care, including reproductive healthcare, to women? 

““It’s a much better way to treat the women because they don’t just have family-planning issues,” said Senator Robert Deuell, Republican of Greenville, a family physician who has advocated an increase in primary-care services for women.

Using taxpayer dollars to finance family-planning services has become politically thorny in Texas, largely because of Republican lawmakers’ assertions that the women’s health clinics providing that care are affiliated with abortionproviders. In the fiscal crunch of 2011, the Legislature cut the state’s family-planning budget by two-thirds, with some lawmakers claiming that they were defunding the “abortion industry.” Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, found that more than 50 family-planning clinics had closed statewide as a result.

Now, amid estimates that the cuts could lead to 24,000 additional 2014-15 births at a cost to taxpayers of $273 million,  lawmakers are seeking a way to restore financing without ruffling feathers…”

Native American Women Demand Rightful Access to Emergency Contraception – Alexa Kolbi-Molinas at ACLU & Charon Asetoyer at Native American Community Board

OTC access to women over 17 still does not mean all women, all the time. With time-sensitive birth control needs, this is unacceptable.

“…Although Plan B has been available without a prescription to adult women since 2006, 90 percent of Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities do not provide Plan B OTC to the Native American women they serve. Given the rural locations of many reservation communities, if EC is unavailable at the IHS facility the next closest commercial pharmacy may be hundreds of miles away and transportation costs may be insurmountable, making timely access to EC difficult, if not impossible for too many women.

Even in those IHS facilities where EC is “available” many Native American women are forced to go to clinic, wait—sometimes all day—to see a health care provider, and then wait even longer for approval for an order to be sent to the IHS pharmacy for EC. That is, if the health care provider will approve an order for EC (we hear many stories of providers who withhold EC from women for religious reasons or because they believe, incorrectly, that EC can cause an abortion)…”

Workshop on Research Issues in the Assessment of Birth Settings – Institute of Medicine

Infographic below. Anyone know if the livecast is available post-date?


International Women’s Day 2013 – The Huffington Post

An awesome photo essay of women around the world to celebrate International Women’s Day 2013. 

NYC Teen Pregnancy Campaign Brings Shaming to Bus Shelters and Cell Phones – Radical Doula at RH Reality Check

I have no words. Really, NYC? I hope they’re paying attention to the people, like RD, calling them out on this crap.

“…I’m sick and tired of teen pregnancy prevention money being spent on these kinds of media stunts. Where is the proof that stigma actually leads to prevention? The messages sent by these ads and the ridiculous SMS game make it seem like the HRA is fine with the status quo of shame and isolation for teen parents. A pregnant teen gets called a “fat loser”? “Well, she shouldn’t have don’t pregnant!” the campaign seems to say. What kind of message does this send about bullying?

These ads put all of the responsibility on teens themselves and present avoiding pregnancy as a panacea that will solve all their problems. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for youth today is staggering, even if they finish high school. Teen pregnancy is much more than a personal responsibility problem, but the campaign might as well be telling teens to pull themselves up by their bootstraps…”


  1. Katherine Parker Bryden says

    The IOM birth settings conference is supposed to be available as an archived recording starting this week.

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