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In the Blogs : Displaying 301-378 of 378


It's a pregnancy test, not Plan B
Feministing
July 11th, 2008
You know that scene in Juno where Ellen Page's character takes pregnancy test after pregnancy test at her local convenience store? Over on the community blog, Aly tells us how the reality can be quite different. She and her friend, both 15-year-olds, went through quite the ordeal trying to buy a simple over-the-counter pregnancy test.We're in CVS, searching for a pregnancy test. ["Shouldn't they be over here?" "I can't find them! Are they by the tampons?" "Nah, if you're pregnant, you don't need those anymore." "Fuck, should we ask someone?" "Wait, no, I think I found them! No, shit, that's a yeast infection thing." "Aly!" "Sorry! They both make you have to pee on them, I think!" "No, you stick the yeast infection one up your snatch." "Ew, ...

Sexually Transmitted Infections Hit All-Time High in Iowa
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
July 7th, 2008
Iowa Department of Public Health officials have reported that totalcases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in the state reached recordlevels in 2007 -- with some major spikes among teen-age populations."These numbers are not surprising to anyone who works in this field,but they are alarming," Karen Thompson, IDPH's sexually...

Wal-Mart prohibits HIV prevention event
Feministing
July 7th, 2008
Are we really surprised? Planned Parenthood of Central Washington was scheduled to hold an event at a local Wal-Mart on National HIV Testing Day where their Teen Council were simply going to stand outside of the store and hand out information about HIV prevention and testing. But the American Life League got a tip on the event, and urged their supporters to call and complain to the store, after which Wal-Mart succumbed and canceled the event.You know, because handing out preventative information that saves people's lives is just so not okay. American Life League's statement is horrific, and conveniently makes no mention of what the event was actually for: “Planned Parenthood is now in such desperate need of customers it’s willing to do ...

girls + activism = more sex ed
sex_ed_blog
July 2nd, 2008
My first regular job teaching sex ed was in the South Bronx. Though I?d lived in New York for a number of years by that point, I still wasn?t really sure what to expect. I knew that the Bronx had burned in the seventies, and was hit hard by violence, HIV, poverty and teen pregnancy. But I wasn?t sure what this would mean for my kids on a day-to-day basis. After four years of teaching there, I saw that while these were real issues for a lot of the teens I worked with, they weren?t necessarily defined by them.I was reminded of this when I read about the Bronx based Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). WEDC is an anti-poverty organization. In addition to a lot of other projects, they run an after-school program for ...

TIME Magazine Hearts CPCs
Feministing
July 1st, 2008
I'm in shock. TIME magazine followed up their original story about the pregnant teens of Gloucester, but now suggesting that the girls' decision is not just one of personal choice, but one of rejecting abortion and "taking responsibility." And the credit is partly given to crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).You must read the whole piece, which reeks of anti-choice language, but the last paragraph really says it all: Whether a girl--or a woman--decides to end a pregnancy or see it through is as complex an emotional and moral and medical calculation as she ever faces. But I wonder if some soft message has taken hold when the data suggest that more women facing hard choices are deciding to carry the child to term. This has been the mission of ...

ditch the condoms? not for a while...
sex_ed_blog
June 30th, 2008
Love condoms? The fact that one in four American girls are walking around with STDs would lead me to believe that for a lot of folks the answer is probably no.  So here's another question: Why don't we have better options for safer sex? You'd think that in this day and age someone would have come up with method that didn't make its target audience cringe.Sure there is the female condom, (which is actually undergoing a makeover as we speak to turn it into something more user-friendly). But despite the fact that I'm a fan of this device, it hasn't exactly been a popular, affordable or availiable option.For a while now there have been murmurings about microbicides.  Microbicides are creams or suppositories that can reduce the risk of STDs and ...

Misinformed consent
Feministing
June 30th, 2008
Today the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court injunction, allowing South Dakota's "informed consent" legislation to take effect. The legislation requires doctors to inform women seeking abortions that the procedure "ends a human life." Because, you know, women are stupid and are just getting abortions willy-nilly, without thinking about it much. We need to be told "the truth," because clearly no woman is aware that carrying a pregnancy to term is an option.Last April, Sarah Blustain wrote about this case and other "informed consent" laws for the Prospect:This line of thinking makes clear that women are too ignorant to realize that they are carrying some sort of nascent life in them, and too weak to possibly decide for ...

States Say 'No Thank You' To Millions in Ab-Only Funds
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
June 27th, 2008
Earlier this week, the Associated Press' Kevin Freking covered the astonishingly high number of states that have withdrawn from the federal government's Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding scheme. Freking reported that just 28 states are still participating in the federal funding, meaning that 23 (22 states and the District of...

Roundup: House Drops Affordable Birth Control Measure
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Contraception
June 25th, 2008
House Drops Affordable Birth Control Measure ... I noted in the June 13th roundup that the House of Representatives was debating an amendment to a supplemental war funding bill that would have closed an unintended loophole causing birth control prices, especially for students, to rise sharply over the past two years. The house dropped that measure last Friday, says the Daily Women's Health Policy Report. According to CQ Today, the House-approved version of the domestic package does not include a provision -- included in an earlier Senate version of the war supplemental bill that also contained domestic spending provisions -- that allows pharmaceutical companies to sell deeply discounted birth control products to college health ...

utah wants to make it illegal to answer sex questions
sex_ed_blog
June 25th, 2008
A Salt Lake City teacher with over 30 years experience under her belt, is currently on paid administrative leave and may be fired, or even charged with a crime, for answering students' questions.  That's because the questions asked were about oral sex, masturbation and homosexuality. After hearing about the incident, a number of parents were up in arms. "We want her fired. We want her never to teach ever again," said one.  Another proclaimed, "These are our children, and we're not going to breach the firewall of innocence." Apparently, to folks in this state, silence is golden and educators are just supposed to stare blankly when confronted with inquires about sex. In response to this outcry, conservative Republican politician Carl Wimmer ...

Why I don't like scientific studies about sexuality
Feministing
June 25th, 2008
It seems every few weeks there is another study about sexual difference and biology. I've written before about what bothers me about studies that talk about gender difference, and I similarly take issue with studies about sexuality and sexual orientation. Why do they bug me? Because the premise behind studying the why of sexual difference is unfair. When we decide to look for the cause of queer sexual orientations to me that says "here we have a problem. let's find the root cause!" Queer sexualities are not a problem, or an abnormality, or a disease that we need to cure. The same goes for "why are you gay" discussions. I frankly find them offensive, because we are once again searching for the root cause of this sexual abnormality. I also ...

Abstinence-only funding is like an evil Energizer Bunny
Feministing
June 20th, 2008
It really just keeps going and going. And we just continue to be disappointed. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies voted yesterday to continue funding the Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) program despite research over the last year that has proved over and over again the inefficacy of abstinence-only education. The Democrats in Congress have failed to ax ab-only funding in the past, and for some reason they just seem to continue to allow millions of federal dollars to be filtered into these dangerous and ineffective programs. RH Reality Check makes a good point that despite the fact that seventeen states have now refused Title V money for abstinence-only ...

Access Denied: Birth Control for College and Low-Income Women
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
June 17th, 2008
College students and low-income women face dramatic increases in birth control pricing.College is about survival of the fittest. Every year, students are overwhelmed by many stressors such as: peer pressure, advanced course work, securing financial aid, and balancing a healthy lifestyle. How students cope with such stressors determine whether...

Yay, equal marriage!
Feministing
June 17th, 2008
As of today, the fact that the person you love shares your gender is no longer a barrier to marriage in California. Huzzah! Here's to the many couples who will marry today -- and hopefully live happily ever after.And for a reminder that marriage isn't the be-all, end-all of queer activism, listen to our gal Miriam on WBUR (Boston's NPR affiliate).

"plan b" not sold here
sex_ed_blog
June 16th, 2008
I was walking through my neighborhood the other day when I came across a sign in the window of a local drug store that said: PLAN B NOT SOLD HERE. (There it is above). I knew that a lot of women had encountered pharmacy refusals for this medication, but until now it didn't occur to me that this might be happening where I live in Brooklyn, NY.Plan B is the brand name for emergency contraception, (AKA: the morning after pill). Emergency contraception is a birth control pill that you can take up to 120 hours after unprotected sex.  It will help prevent a pregnancy from occurring.  It won't stop one that has already happened. That's why it isn't an abortion. So what's up with pharmacists refusing to sell a medication that could prevent ...

heritage foundation ignores facts on abstinence education
sex_ed_blog
June 11th, 2008
With a name like the Heritage Foundation and a mission: ?To formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense,? it shouldn't come as a surprise that this group also goes to bat for abstinence-only education.In April, they conducted an assessment of the effectiveness of 21 abstinence-only programs and declared:?Opponents of abstinence education contend that these programs fail to influence teen sexual behavior. At this stage, the available evidence supports neither this assessment nor the wholesale dismissal of authentic abstinence education programs.?Excuse me? I don't just "contend" that these ...

I heart NY feminists
Feministing
June 10th, 2008
I love NYC in the summer. There's always a ton of amazing feminist events going on, and it seems to have begun. This weekend kicks off with Rock for Young Women, an event to support the New York Metro Chapter of the Young Women's Task Force. Then Monday, the amazing Girls for Gender Equity will be partnering with HollaBack NYC for a post-show talk back about subway harassment after a special showing of the play Standing Clear, described as "an ensemble piece that digs deep into the personalities we commute with each day." Support and enjoy three awesome organizations in one week. If you're in the NYC area, be sure to check em out.

Wanderlust Meets Reproductive Justice Activists in New Orleans
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
June 9th, 2008
On Monday, May 26th, the Wanderlust Bicycle Caravan rolled out of NewOrleans, multicolored flags waving in the wind as passersby look on,awestruck at the sight of so many women on bikes. We wound our waythrough neighborhoods still devastated from Katrina, riding to bearwitness to the beauty and resilience of the New Orleanians who...

mississippi parents may soon have to tell police if their kids are having sex
sex_ed_blog
June 9th, 2008
Some folks in Mississippi are trying to pass legislation that would make it a crime for a minor?s caretaker not to report underage sexual activity to law enforcement officials. Mississippi would not be the first state to require reporting of teen sexual activity.But what is radical about the Mississippi law is that it would require reporting by people other than doctors and social workers. In fact, under this law, a parent who knew that her child was sexually active would be required to notify authorities. Failing to do so could get a parent charged with child abuse! The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports, ?Language in the bill?defines abuse as ?the intentional toleration of parents or caretakers of the child's sexual activity ...

Abstinence-only teen magazine pitched to students
Feministing
June 9th, 2008
Thanks to reader Kelsey for bringing this to our attention, who was introduced to a new magazine for teens, J4G (Just for Girls/Just for Guys), on a recent senior trip. The publication is described by the Human Life Alliance as "this extremely marketable, cutting edge magazine will cause your friends to want to get their own copy. The colorful graphics will catch their attention, and the thought provoking stories and facts on the inside will challenge them to change the way they think about sex outside of marriage."These "facts" are actually (and not surprisingly) tons of misinformation cloaked in teen rhetoric. One example is a advice column type section with Dr. Mary Paquette, who she contends that abortion causes infertility, breast ...

Lift Ev'ry Voice: Progressive Clergy Shout to Be Heard
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
June 4th, 2008
Since 2004, when righteous culture warriors took credit forPresident Bush's second term and for sweeping a Republican Congress back intopower, talking heads have painted moral rot as a liberal problem and the"family values" GOP as God's cleanup crew. Embracing religion - understood to be inherently conservative - was tobe...

A Pre-Roe Voice On Why Legal Abortion Is Crucial
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
June 4th, 2008
Almost any implement you can imagine had been and was used to start an abortion - darning needles, crochet hooks, cut-glass salt shakers, soda bottles, sometimes intact, sometimes with the top broken off. The above excerpt is from an eye-opening essay in today's New York Times by obstetrician/gynecologist and pre-Roe abortion provider Dr....

EC Goes OTC in Canada
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
June 4th, 2008
Women in most parts of Canadawill soon be able to access emergency contraception over the counter. TheCanadian National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities recently decidedthat the drug known by its brand name ?Plan B? will be available to women withouthaving first to consult a pharmacist. Emergency contraception is already...

Teen sex up, condom use down
Feministing
June 4th, 2008
A new study from the CDC shows that teen sex may be creeping up, while condom use is decreasing, The Washington Post reports.The new report did not examine the reason for the trends, but experts said there could be many causes, including rising complacency about AIDS, changing attitudes about sex and pregnancy, shifts in ethnic diversity and the possibility that there will always be some teens who cannot be convinced to wait."The truth is that as a field we really don't know what the answer is," [Sarah S. Brown of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy] said. "There are lots of theories: the economy, classroom education, the messages kids are getting in the digital world where they spend their time. They probably all ...

Fat Anti-Bias Campaign
Our Bodies Our Blog
May 8th, 2008
"In an overwhelmingly overweight nation that worships thinness, many describe prejudice against the obese as one of the last socially acceptable biases," writes Lisa Anderson at the Chicago Tribune. "Advocates for the plus-sized, particularly activists in the 'fat acceptance' movement,...[This is a content summary only. Click the headline to visit Our Bodies, Our Blog for the full post, links, other content and more!]

Outing the Pro-Teen Sex Agenda
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
May 8th, 2008
On this National Day to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy,I thought it would be a fun exercise to compare the sexual activity ofteenagers and their pregnancy rates in the most pro-choice states withthose of the most pro-life states. I used NARAL's rankingsto determine which were the best and worst states on choice. (Simply,those that...

Too Poor to Parent?
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
May 8th, 2008
When a recurrent plumbing problem in an upstairs unit caused raw sewage to seep into her New York City apartment, 22-year-old Lisa called social services for help. She had repeatedly asked her landlord to fix the problem, but he had been unresponsive. Now the smell was unbearable, and Lisa feared for the health and safety of her two young...

how can i get the pill without my mom knowing?
sex_ed_blog
May 8th, 2008
Question: My boyfriend and I are thinking of having sex. However, I'm scared that I might become pregnant. We can use a condom but I'm not comfortable just using that. I am planning to go on birth control, but can I get the pill without my mom knowing?Answer: Generally, yes. There is no law that requires a parent's permission for the pill or other birth control. But that doesn't mean that a doctor won't ask you for it. Nor does it mean that your confidentiality will always be respected. It's really wise to get on a reliable form of birth control. Though I don't know your family, they might actually think so too. Often parents are a lot more understanding about things like birth control than teens expect. Of course, you know your mom, and ...

Combating the Politicization of HIV Prevention
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - STI/HIV/AIDS Prevention
April 15th, 2008
In 2006, many of the United State's major organizations leading the fight against HIV/AIDS and their international partners came together to create the Caucus for Evidence-Based Prevention. Originally started in the lead-up to the International AIDS Conference in Toronto in 2006, the Caucus was designed to highlight and defend the importance of evidence and science in determining what works best to prevent HIV infection. Now, more than 40 members of the Caucus are preparing in earnest for the 2008 International AIDS Conference in Mexico City in early August 2008. Our work is clearly cut out for us. The current politicization of HIV prevention by the US Administration and its favored groups here at home and around the globe, remain ...

Domestic Violence Is an RH Issue
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
April 15th, 2008
Living in a culture of violence has long-term effects on the ways in which we come to see ourselves, and by extension, the world around us. Globally, we are surrounded by images of violence: in forums such as the news media, folklore and in popular culture, violence has become a mainstay of our daily existence. The evidence of this came sharply...

crisis pregnancy centers are the crisis
sex_ed_blog
April 15th, 2008
I've had a lot of students over the years, but one I think about a lot is Lana. I met Lana when I was working in the Bronx and she was a very pregnant high school senior. She had the baby around graduation, but despite earlier plans to raise the child with her boyfriend, they soon broke up. Then after one too many fights with her mom, she moved in with a guy named Jason, who was more into smoking pot and watching TV than being a step-dad.Pretty soon Lana was pregnant again. She sat in my office holding her infant daughter saying, ?I can't have another baby. I just can't.?  ?What do you want to do?? I asked.  ?Abortion,? she answered.We got on the phone and made her an appointment at a Planned Parenthood center in the area. Then Lana called ...

State Legislative Trends: Abortion Ban Travels Across Country
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
April 15th, 2008
At the end of March 2008, just over 800 measures had been introduced in the 43 state legislatures that have convened so far this year. And with the legislative year in full swing, some interesting trends are emerging, largely in the wake of last year's Supreme Court decision in Gonzales v. Carhart. In its most direct effect, the Court's...

what to do if you get carded for condoms
sex_ed_blog
April 15th, 2008
I know that obtaining condoms can be tricky, so sometimes I assign a ?condom hunt? as homework. For the hunt, kids are supposed to go to a few different stores and answer questions like: Where are the condoms located? How many brands do they have? Do you need to get someone to help find them? Usually the project goes off smoothly, but I have had the occasional kid who was unable to complete the assignment because a clerk refused to sell her condoms.Apparently, this happens more than you might think. A poll on the Teenwire.com website found that 10% of their readers had been carded for condoms!This is totally out of line--it?s legal for minors in all 50 states to buy condoms. That's because of a 1977 Supreme Court case, Carey v. Population ...

Love is a verb. Superlove is a movement.
Feministing
April 15th, 2008
We followed a line of women (and a few scattered men) into the Superdome early Friday morning. After being thoroughly searched and promising never to turn on our video camera, we were allowed admittance. The entrance was decorated with a selection of feminist art pieces such as poster board sized pages of a graphic novel entitled, ?Oh fuck, I?m a Victim.? In it, artist Vicki Rabinowicz depicts a woman who is followed, kidnapped, and raped. In one frame, she is drawn small enough to fit in her attacker?s hand as he masturbates onto her entire body then flushes her down the toilet. At the end of the strip we discover that the victim is the artist and that she drew this on her 28th birthday, tens years after the attack. Not all of the pieces ...

On feminist blogging, community and privilege
Feministing
April 15th, 2008
All of us at Feministing have been following the heated discussion happening in the feminist blogosphere right now about issues of race and privilege. (We're not going to summarize, but here is some suggested reading. ) We want to say up front that Brownfemipower's voice will be greatly missed. We also want to say that, yes, there is a history of white women (and white feminists) appropriating the ideas of women of color. It's a problem that persists today. That doesn't make Amanda a plagiarist, and we don't believe she is.And that's all were gonna say about the specifics. Not only because we don't want this to get too blog-insidery, but also because many brave bloggers have forayed into this territory before, and the discussion doesn't ...

More Evidence on Abstinence-Only vs. Comprehensive Sex Education
Our Bodies Our Blog
April 8th, 2008
A recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health reports on a survey of about 1700 teens (ages 15-19) who completed the National Survey of Family Growth. They were asked about whether they received any formal sex education before initiating...[This is a content summary only. Click the headline to visit Our Bodies, Our Blog for the full post, links, other content and more!]

The Never-Ending Juggling Act
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
April 8th, 2008
I know a young woman who is struggling to stay in high school. She is 16 years old, the mother of a one-year-old child and at risk of becoming one of the thousands of women who will drop out of high school this year.When the news reported the findings of a study by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center that only 70% of American...

fun fact: there was a time when adult women had pubic hair!
sex_ed_blog
April 8th, 2008
Maybe it was different for other kids, but when I was in high school, most girls seemed to limit any worrying about pubic hair to the bikini line. The notion that you should take it all off, or even spend a lot of time grooming, just wasn?t part of the general consciousness. In fact, while changing for gym one day, a bunch of us noticed that Julie (a girl who alternately boasted her sexual conquests and lamented them) had no pubic hair. She did, however, have a nasty razor burn. Not being masters of discretion, a bunch of us needled her for information. ?Yeah,? she admitted, ?I shaved off my pubic hair to keep me from sleeping with anyone else. At least until it grows back.? Her idea was this: Guys would think it was weird that she was ...

"I was raped" shirt: Awareness-raising or divisive?
Feministing
April 8th, 2008
Feminist Jennifer Baumgardner - who created the controversial "I had an abortion" shirt several years ago - has just released a new shirt as part of a rape-awareness project.Abortion and rape are subjects that are secreted away and are also surprisingly common, Ms. Baumgardner said. One in six women is a victim of sexual assault, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, a nonprofit sexual assault prevention and education group. According to the Department of Justice, 60 percent of sexual assaults go unreported.As she has been interviewing women for a film she is making about sexual assault, Ms. Baumgardner has heard women describing the usual reasons why they frequently don?t report rapes ? shame, humiliation, fear that ...

Trusting Teenagers
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
March 27th, 2008
Ah, teenagers. Every single person who makes public policy was one once, but the deep irony of our nation's attitude towards the entire adolescent age group is that we treat them like a strange species, and we have ever since rock 'n' roll and the baby boom created the teen as we know her. American culture somehow can't grasp...

what's a judicial bypass (and how do you get one?)
sex_ed_blog
March 27th, 2008
What would you do if you got pregnant and decided you needed an abortion? Whether or not the law required it, if you?re like 60% of pregnant teens, you would probably talk to one of your parents. If you?re in the other 40%, it?s likely that you have a pretty good reason for not wanting to tell them. That can be tricky for girls who live in the 34 states that require some parental involvement for minors to get abortions. But tricky doesn?t mean impossible. That?s because in most states girls have the option of getting something called a judicial bypass.A judicial bypass is a process where a judge can overrule parental involvement laws by saying that a girl is mature enough to decide she can have an abortion on her own. The specific steps ...

three more states reject abstinence-only funding (it's a good thing)
sex_ed_blog
March 27th, 2008
In January, New Mexico became the 15th state to reject the government?s abstinence-only money. Later that month, Arizona became the 16th. In late February, Iowa brought that number to 17 with its rejection!That?s pretty exciting considering that in 1998, (the first year this money was offered), only California declined it. At the beginning of last year, only eight states had turned it down. This decision by Iowa, Arizona and New Mexico means that the number of states to say no to abstinence-only funding has more than doubled in one year?s time.So what are all these states rejecting? Basically, they're rejecting money to teach the government?s own personal set of values about sex. This has been wrapped up in a package called ?abstinence ...

Thank You Thursdays: Women in Hip Hop
Feministing
March 27th, 2008
As anyone who listens to the music knows, it tends to be a man's game, but there are a few brave women who have shown that MC-ing isn't sex-linked to the Y-chromosome. In my book I talk about the negative affects of growing up listening to a music that essentially told me: "Your role in the music of your generation is as eye candy, the cute girl at the party who gets freestyled about [thanks Che DeLeon], not the one who does the freestyling. Your body is your voice." There were some spit-kickin' women, and more to come, who give young women a different message, that they have every right to make their voices and lyrics and stories heard within hip hop communities. Big ups to Jill Scott, Bahamadia, Jean Graye, Lauren Hill, Queen Latifah, ...

Teen Sexual Health Crisis: What Parents Can Do

Politician changes his name to "pro-life"
Feministing
March 25th, 2008
Oh those wacky anti-choicers!A Senate candidate has legally changed his name to Pro-Life and will appear on the ballot that way this year, state election officials say.As Marvin Pro-Life Richardson, the organic strawberry farmer from Letha, 30 miles northwest of Boise, was denied the use of his middle name when he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006 because the state's policy bars the use of slogans on the ballot.Now, though, officials in the Idaho secretary of state's office say they have no choice because Pro-Life is his full and only name. He says he will run for the highest state office on the ballot every two years for the rest of his life, advocating murder charges for doctors who perform abortions and for women who obtain the ...

Native women's shelter loses lease
Feministing
March 25th, 2008
Via Celina's new blog, Ojibway Migisi Bineshii, the Rapid City Journal reports:A small shelter offering a temporary haven for Native American women seeking to escape domestic violence has just six weeks to find a new Rapid City home."We're just kind of shell-shocked," Karen Artichoker, manager of Cangleska, said.Cangleska's Ohitika Najin Win Oti (Standing Strong Woman) shelter has lost the lease on the home it has used as a shelter for the past seven years. [...]The shelter's original intent was to provide transitional housing for women leaving the reservation for their own safety, Artichoker said.Over the years, a growing number of local Native American women have sought refuge in the shelter. The average stay for a mother and her ...

Got Plan B? Essay Contest for Young Women!
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
March 25th, 2008
Are you between the ages of 14 and 24 years old? Do you know someone who is? Pass it on: Pharmacy Access Partnership and RH Reality Check are pleased to announce our essay contest, open to young people 14-24 years of age. The theme? "Got Plan B? Why access to Plan B emergency contraception is important." The winning opinion piece...

Silenced in a Sex Obsessed Culture
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
March 25th, 2008
Spring fever has sprung! Just as a sobering CDC study report breaks that one in four American teen girls has a sexually transmitted disease, crime-busting Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigns for itching an eighty-grand, reportedly condom-free prostitution habit. Instantly the scandal storm blows bigger and more bizarre as New York's new governor holds...

abuse: another reason teen girls are getting pregnant
sex_ed_blog
March 25th, 2008
For a number of years, I worked with teens in the Bronx. One of these was a girl named Gina. When I met Gina, she was a very pregnant high school junior. By the time I left the job she was the mother to two children. She was also missing a front tooth, thanks to Rich, father of the second. This guy, like the majority of men who father teens' babies, was a whole lot older than Gina. When Gina told me that she was pregnant again, I asked what she wanted to do. ?Well,? she said. ?I was thinking I?d get an abortion. But Rich said he?d kill me if I did.? When I tried to prod in true teacher fashion (How did this happen? Why didn?t you use a condom or take EC?), it slowly came out that the pregnancy wasn?t an accident. Gina?s boyfriend had ...

Bill Clinton Gets Riled Up About Abortion
Our Bodies Our Blog
March 4th, 2008
At a campaign event in Steubenville, OH on Sunday, Bill Clinton was campaigning for Senator Clinton and was heckled by anti-choice students from the religious Franciscan University of Steubenville. Clinton responded thusly: "We disagree with you. You want to criminalize...[This is a content summary only. Click the headline to visit Our Bodies, Our Blog for the full post, links, other content and more!]

Iowa Teens Make Case for Comprehensive Sex Ed
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
March 4th, 2008
It isn't unusual for Iowa high school students Stacey Hoch and Venessa McDole, both peer advisors, to speak with their classmates about sensitive subjects. Thursday morning, however, they took their advocacy one step further by speaking in front of policymakers at a meeting hosted in Des Moines by FutureNet, an Iowa network for adolescent...

Americans and the Caribbean HIV Explosion
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
March 4th, 2008
For both self-protection and for humanitarian reasons, Americans should be seriously concerned about the explosion of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. The Caribbean region is the second worst HIV/AIDS affected regions in the world, after sub Saharan Africa. Poverty, gender inequalities and a high degree of HIV-related stigma have caused a festering of...

Expanding the Scope of Disease Prevention
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
March 4th, 2008
Susan Cohen explains how reducing unwanted pregnancy can reduce HIV transmission, ex-gay ministries get exposed as deceitful, abstinence-only both misinforms and spreads sexist stereotypes, and Pat Buchanan tries to wave away women in politics.  Links in this Episode:Guttmacher Study: Contraception Critical to HIV PreventionHuckabee...

Minimums Matter: RH Access in New York Jails
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
March 4th, 2008
An innovative New York study sheds new light on the little-known world of health care policy in jails, and confirms a major concern of prisoners, their loved ones, and their advocates - that access to health care depends entirely on where someone happens to be arrested and jailed, even within a single state.The report, issued March 4 by the New...

abuse: another reason teen girls are getting pregnant
sex_ed_blog
March 4th, 2008
For a number of years, I worked with teens in the Bronx. One of these was a girl named Gina. When I met Gina, she was a very pregnant high school junior. By the time I left the job she was the mother to two children. She was also missing a front tooth, thanks to Rich, father of the second. This guy, like the majority of men who father teens' babies, was a whole lot older than Gina. When Gina told me that she was pregnant again, I asked what she wanted to do. ?Well,? she said. ?I was thinking I?d get an abortion. But Rich said he?d kill me if I did.? When I tried to prod in true teacher fashion (How did this happen? Why didn?t you use a condom or take EC?), it slowly came out that the pregnancy wasn?t an accident. Gina?s boyfriend had ...

2007 State Legislative Trends in RH
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
February 26th, 2008
Over the course of 2007, legislators in the 50 states considered more than 1,000 proposals concerning reproductive health and rights. These proposals resulted in 88 new laws in 38 states. While legislative activity about abortion was split between provisions to restrict or protect abortion rights, most of the activity around contraception and...

Improving PEPFAR Means Ignoring Tony Perkins
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
February 26th, 2008
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council says if the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) isn't broken, we shouldn't fix it. Perkins wants Congress to ignore mountains of evidence that suggest the program should be improved. He's also hiding the far-right's anti-contraception agenda behind yet another trumped...

does age make a difference when it comes to having sex?
sex_ed_blog
February 26th, 2008
I've known my fair share of people who had sex young. Most of them, however, didn't end up depressed, addicted to drugs or the parent to a three-year-old before finishing high school. Does that mean all of their early experiences were positive and healthy? Of course not. But neither, as a rule, were the experiences of people who waited until they were older to have sex. Many of those who waited still "forgot" to use condoms. They were still heartbroken when the person they were crazy about blew them off. They still felt pressured into doing things before they were ready. This is not to say that any of those things are the inevitable outcome of becoming sexually active. But it also isn't to say that age is everything. Self confidence, self ...

Giving Our Daughters the Future They Deserve
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Sexuality Education
February 17th, 2008
Putting aside the politics of teen pregnancy, what does it represent to families? I think most parents (at least those like me who live in affluent countries or are in the upper echelons of other nations) would say we wouldn't wish it for our daughters first and foremost because it represents the loss of innocence, of youthful naiveté. By that I don't mean the kind of ignorance that leads people to trust scams, but that wonderful hopefulness that makes young people dream of being astronauts, artists or peacemakers (all the hopes I cherish for my daughter) -- the kind of naiveté that allows you to fall madly in love the first time because the inevitable heartbreak is impossible to imagine. While none of us enjoys standing by during ...

Abstinence-only: Decidedly not awesome for young women
Feministing
February 17th, 2008
Legal Momentum has a huge new report (PDF), Sex, Lies and Stereotypes, on how abstinence-only education is especially harmful to young women and girls. (It's also a great primer on abstinence-only in general.) It makes a strong case for why, even though these programs are bad for both male and female students, there's a disproportionate impact on girls: Females disproportionately suffer the consequences of unprotected sexual activity, including STIs and unplanned pregnancies. These programs also often contain harmful and outdated gender stereotypes that cast women as the gatekeepers of aggressive male sexuality. [...] For women of color, the absence of accurate sexual health information is particularly damaging given the high rates of HIV ...

Men Can Help Prevent Unintended Pregnancy, Too
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Information, News, Analysis, and Commentary
February 12th, 2008
Finding himself faced with his partner's unplanned pregnancy, today's man may well be confronted for the first time with a situation in which his opinions and beliefs carry less weight than those of his female partner. In absence of a critical day-to-day assessment of their gender-based privilege and power, privileged men rarely find...

HPV vaccine doesn't make a pelvic exam passé
sex_ed_blog
February 12th, 2008
A few years ago, I was reading the New York Times. I noticed a piece about trials for a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine. The article explained that the vaccine could prevent both cervical cancer and genital warts, which are caused by different types of HPV. I got really excited and sent the link to some of my friends. "Woo hoo!" I wrote. "Finally, a story about this stuff that doesn't make me want to barf!" It wasn't eloquent, but hearing the news got me more energized than literary. I'm still excited that this aspect of women's' reproductive health got top billing from vaccine makers. But now that the HPV vaccine has moved out of the trial period and into the bodies of young women, I have a concern. Will getting vaccinated stop girls ...

Just the Facts: Immigration and Reproductive Justice
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - STI/HIV/AIDS Prevention
February 7th, 2008
Over the summer, the 110th Congress failed to push through flawed, yet essential legislation that would have moved the immigration debate forward. Despite this setback, comprehensive immigration reform will continue to be a key issue throughout future election seasons and legislative sessions.Immigration is a multifaceted issue, but one component that should not be overlooked as progressives continue to work on this issue is the reproductive health of immigrant women. About 36 million foreign-born people live in the United States as of 2005--12 percent of the U.S. population. Over half of these immigrants are from Latin America, just under one-third are from Asia, 14 percent are from Europe, and the remaining 6 percent are from Africa, ...

The Third Rail: Reproductive Health Needs of Immigrant Women
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Contraception
February 7th, 2008
Gloria Steinem's recent New Yor Times op-ed, "Women Are Never Front-Runners," got one thing right: feminism is absent from the 2008 presidential debates. What it means to be a woman and what we contribute to this country has been lost in the recent political discourse. What we as women of color and immigrant women contribute is not even close to entering into the conversation--not to mention the absence of meaningful discussion about our broken immigration system. Instead, how we can fix our immigration system has been skirted around or, even worse, used as a wedge issue. A meaningful discussion about how women are impacted by policies other than those that are considered just "women's issues," is long overdue, most simply because ...

Activists By Chance
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Sexuality Education
February 5th, 2008
At the end of 2006, musician Damian Montagu and filmmaker Christian Banfield took a spontaneous trip to Cape Verde. "We didn't really know what we were doing. We just both loved Caesaria Evora's music, and thought we could maybe meet up with local musicians," Damian explains. On their first morning on the island of Mindelo, the two sat on their hotel veranda, not really believing that a spontaneous idea in a pub in London had actually got them to Cape Verde, and not really sure what to do next. As they drank their coffee and considered their options, a procession of school children and musicians danced by on the street below. It was December 1, and the procession was a World AIDS Day event. "It was one of those moments," ...

Bush Budget Slashes Women's Health Funding
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - STI/HIV/AIDS Prevention
February 5th, 2008
Wow. Just wow. You wouldn't think President Bush would be working at this point to make his reign-of-disaster even worse.He's only got a few months left and we're all consumed with those darn campaigns so maybe he thinks no one is watching? It's not enough though, to rest on his destructive laurels. It's like some kind of withdrawal process for him (though not the kind progressives have been hoping for); wait too long between the slashing of taxpayer funded services for those who desperately need them and he starts twitching and shaking. President Bush released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2009 today and guess what? Funding for international family planning and other sexual and reproductive health programs is cut ...

Bush Budget Slashes Women's Health Funding
Reproductive Health | RHRealityCheck.org - Contraception
February 5th, 2008
Wow. Just wow. You wouldn't think President Bush would be working at this point to make his reign-of-disaster even worse.He's only got a few months left and we're all consumed with those darn campaigns so maybe he thinks no one is watching? It's not enough though, to rest on his destructive laurels. It's like some kind of withdrawal process for him (though not the kind progressives have been hoping for); wait too long between the slashing of taxpayer funded services for those who desperately need them and he starts twitching and shaking. President Bush released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2009 today and guess what? Funding for international family planning and other sexual and reproductive health programs is cut ...

Double Dose: The Pill and Its Studies; Genital Pain is Taken Seriously; When the Sex of Your Surgeon Matters; Tracking Global and U.S. Gender-Based Violence
Our Bodies Our Blog
February 5th, 2008
The Pill's Long-Running Health Saga: "Last week, British researchers published decisively good news about birth control pills: They lower the risk of ovarian cancer -- substantially," writes Amanda Schaffer at Slate. "The new analysis pooled large amounts of data. It...[This is a content summary only. Click the headline to visit Our Bodies, Our Blog for the full post, links, other content and more!]

Comprehensive Sex Education in Illinois Not All That
Our Bodies Our Blog
February 5th, 2008
One-third of all sex education teachers in Illinois are not providing comprehensive instruction, according to a new study. The survey by researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center appears in the February 2008 issue of the journal Obstetrics and...[This is a content summary only. Click the headline to visit Our Bodies, Our Blog for the full post, links, other content and more!]

making teen sex a crime: another great way to ensure pregnancies and infections
sex_ed_blog
February 5th, 2008
Apparently, I wasn't the only one whose interest was piqued by a Maine middle school's decision to offer birth control to its students. Soon after the story broke, so did another piece of news. Maine will now start enforcing a little known law that requires people like doctors and teachers to report sexual activity of teens under 14 to the state's attorney general. That such a requirement even existed came as a pretty big shock to a lot of folks. All states have statutory rape laws. These usually make it a crime for someone over the age of consent to have sex with someone under it. Most states don't use these laws to make it illegal for teens to have sex with kids the same age. But some, like Maine, do. Texas, Kansas and Indiana also have ...

do you know your HIV status?
sex_ed_blog
February 5th, 2008
I've had a few HIV tests in my time, but I've never gotten totally used to them. My first test was when I was in 12th grade. Terrified of what I would hear, I never went back for the results. The second was a few months later. I was living abroad and was on a program that required an HIV test. When an envelope from the lab arrived almost a month later, I refused to look inside and instead handed it to my roommate. Then I held my breath as she read the word "negative." A few years after that, I got tested at a clinic which promised results in 20 minutes. On the bus ride there, I glanced out the window and saw the word "AIDS" glaring at me in huge red letters. I was convinced it was a sign--and not a good one. But like the previous results, ...

Blogging for choice : The business of outsourcing choice
culturekitchen - fresh dissent served daily
January 24th, 2008
Today is January 22nd, 2008 and women across the United States will observe it as the 35 anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Many of them will even be blogging about how the right to choose is so important to them. Others will spend the day condemning it. Which just brings me to the topic of birthing. It seems like there is a baby boom in Hollywood. Everybody and their mother is pregnant. There is so much baby booming that it led Ricki Lake to make a documentary about the whole thing. In The Business of Being Born, Lake goes on to document the way women in the United States go about birthing babies and reveal it for what it is, a business. As an advocate for midwifery and non-invasive birthing, Lake hopes "this film educates people and empowers ...

What if it was YOUR kids?
culturekitchen - fresh dissent served daily
January 24th, 2008
"If 28 percent of the white male population were in prison, I kind of think we'd be doing something about it." — Stacy Peralta, director of "Made in America" in an interview with Salon.com

Meet EMERJ: Expanding the movement for Empowerment and Reproductive Justice
Feministing
January 24th, 2008
In all the Blog for Choice hoopla yesterday, I forgot to post about this amazing new group, EMERJ. A national movement building initiative founded in January 2007 by a group of reproductive justice leaders, EMERJ seeks to grow and strengthen the reproductive justice movement. Hear what I'm telling you folks, this group is at the cutting edge of the activism being done for reproductive justice. These are the people doing the work, these are the people that you will start to hear a lot more about. So check them out.Moira Bowman, the Movement Building Director at EMERJ, had this to add about yesterday's anniversary: The anniversary of Roe is a time to celebrate that fact that abortion is still legal and the amazing efforts that have been ...

Must We Fear Adolescent Sexuality?
Feministing
January 24th, 2008
Girl with Pen has a fascinating guest post by sociologist Virginia Rutter on Juno and love. Anyone obsessed with the movie (which seems to be just about everybody, including Ms. Oprah, these days), should check it out. Be sure not to miss one of the links later on to an academic article called "Must We Fear Adolescent Sexuality?" by Dr. Amy Schalet. It is a cross-cultural study of parental attitudes towards teen sexuality in the United States (where adolescent sexuality is an evergreen hot button issues) and the Netherlands (where anxiety around adolescent sexuality is nill). She essentially asks: how is it that two countries similar in terms of wealth, education, and reproductive technologies have had the highest and lowest rates of teen ...

Equality Ride 2010 Call for Applicants!
Amplify Featured Diaries
Image Credit: Soulforce, Taueret Manu, an Equality Rider from the Bronx, prepares literature for the stop at Liberty UniversityThe 2010 Equality Ride is hitting the road and it's seeking young adults ages 18-28 to be Riders!What is the Equality Ride?The equality ride is a traveling forum that gives young people a chance to deconstruct justice and allows emerging young leaders to unite in the struggle for common equality. According to the Association for Women's Rights and Development, "Everyday thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning people suffer harassment, violence, and discrimination at the hands of those who do not understand them. The idea is this. We get on a bus and journey to various institutions ...

Queering the 2010 Census
Feministing
This is a campaign from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to advocate for an additional question on the 2010 census that would allow for better reporting on the number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the US. There was already one victory for the LGBT community this past year, when the it was announced that married LGBT couples would be counted in the 2010 census. But this only counts LGBT folks who are partnered--single folks are left totally off the census, which is the biggest source of data collection researchers and government officials have. That's why NGLTF is calling for an additional question on the survey, which would allow folks to categorize themselves based on sexual orientation.You can sign their ...

Huge earthquake hits Haiti
Feministing
Yesterday evening, a magnitude 7 earthquake hit Haiti, a small island nation in the Caribbean. While exact reports of the damage are still to come, it sounds like a horrific situation for a country where almost 9 million of it's citizens are already living in poverty. Many buildings in the capital where demolished in the earthquake, including the UN Headquarters there. MSNBC has more details about the disaster and Talking Points Memo has constant updates on this site. White House officials have said sending money is the easiest way to help folks in Haiti (via TPM). If you want to donate money you can go to UNICEF or the Red Cross. UPDATE: Also, via the US State Department: "For those interesting in helping immediately, simply text "HAITI" ...

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