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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 ...

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