Boston Walk For Choice

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Posts tagged with "contraception"

New York City Has a New Mandate for Sex Education

reprohealthdaily:

We at Repro Health Daily think this is great news! More comprehensive sex education that teaches students not only how to use contraception but talks about how and when someone can assess their readiness for sexual activity is certainly needed. Students will now take a semester in 6th or 7th grade, with a refresher in early high school. We look forward to some more talk about what these courses will cover - so far there is talk about including role-plays with students about condom negotiation and stats that show while students may think their peers are all having sex, most middle schools aren’t! Tell us - what do you think should be added to sex education?

Feminists for Choice

What is Choice?
I believe that choice means having the power to make decisions about your own body. These choices include:

  • When, and if, you want to have sex
  • Who you want to have sex with
  • What types of sexual activities are right for you
  • What type of birth control is right for you
  • The choice to get pregnant and keep a child or put it up for adoption
  • The choice to terminate a pregnancy if that is appropriate for you
  • Access to medically accurate information about reproductive options
  • The right of transsexuals to change their bodies to fit their gender
  • The right of intersex children to not have surgery until they know which gender they are
  • The right to say “no.”

The pro-choice movement encompasses all of these aspects of reproductive health, and so much more.

Being Pro-Choice

bebinn:

Being pro-choice means more than supporting the right to an abortion. Being pro-choice encompasses all reproductive decisions, from contraception, to sterilization, to IVF, to adoption and surrogacy. It means supporting and respecting people’s choices of where and how to give birth, or whether to give birth at all.

It means acknowledging the variety of life experiences, and working to break down barriers, such as poverty, location, and lack of education, that impede people’s right to control their reproductive destinies. It means working to ensure that no matter what sexual orientation or identity, everyone has equal access to support for their choices.

It means understanding that many are not given choices, or that their choices are limited by their situation. It means helping those people in any way, from offering them a ride to the hospital, to lobbying for their rights in the capitol or online.

It means fighting for everyone’s rights before, during, and after pregnancy, as well as the rights of those who will never be pregnant.

Aug 2

Far from being an evil materialistic organization, Planned Parenthood helps the poor, the alienated, and women who have nowhere else to turn for health care. By all Biblical standards, that’s not something to curse: that’s something to celebrate.

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Rev. Tom Davis: Blessing (Not Cursing) Planned Parenthood (via charliemielczarek)

Planned Parenthood helps more than just women, but other than this, yes.

How to be an Everyday Reproductive Justice Hero

1. Support a friend through a pregnancy.
When a friend tells you she is pregnant, be there for her. There is no need to be overbearing, but just let her know that you are there every step of the way if she needs you. If she decides to terminate, offer to go with her to the clinic, and check in with her afterwards. If she is continuing the pregnancy, ask her what she needs – time, ice cream, someone to hold back her hair, space. And when the baby comes, be a supporter, a babysitter, a researcher of daycare options, if that’s what she wants/needs. Show through your love and trust of the women in your life that women are worthy of love and trust.

2. Be a safe sex educator to your friends.
I know there is somewhere in your area where you can get free condoms. Go get some, and give them out to your friends. Keep a dish in your bathroom with a “help yourself!” sign on it for visitors. Hand them out relentlessly. Ask your friends what method of birth control they are using. Educate yourself and be a source of information and support. Use whatever you have up your sleeve – an air of compassion, a sense of humour – to make it ok to talk openly about sex around you.

3. Volunteer at your local clinic.
Always contact a clinic first and find out what they need. Most clinics do not need counter-protesters; they make patients nervous and incite anger. See if you can be a clinic escort: usually it’s a weekly commitment of a couple hours, and you will be directly helping women accessing sexual health services. Some clinics need other support – people to drive patients from the airport or neighbouring towns; people to host out-of-town patients overnight; people to answer phones or stuff envelopes. If you have the time to give to make yourself useful at a clinic, I promise you it will go far and be very much appreciated.

4. Lead a creative resistance.
If you are a creative person, create something. Write a letter to your representative or to the newspaper; write a blog; paint, write poetry, build a sculpture; do something big and amazing and thought-provoking or something small and quiet and cathartic. Sometimes the challenge of the movement can be so frustrating and make you so angry and sad and lost; express yourself. Often art has a way of reaching others and clarifying the issue in a way that simple explanations cannot.

5. Be an ally.
Who are the people in your community who are suffering most from the lack of access to reproductive healthcare services? Find out what they have to say. Figure out a way to use what privilege you have to be of service. This is a hard one, and a longterm thing. You will screw up. But it’s worth the effort.

6. Learn.
In whatever spare time you have, read about reproductive justice, and ask questions. Talk to people, whoever you can access – doctors, nurses, friends who have had abortions, friends who have had babies, doulas, midwives, your mother, your partner. Read blogs and articles. Inform yourself as much as possible; put yourself in a position of being able to speak to this issue and to help and support and inform the people around you. Knowledge is power.

7. Love.
I feel that this is at the root of it – true activism is an act of love. Never forget why we fight for access and the health and lives of our sisters. If we live every day and act out of love, we can’t lose. When in doubt, follow your heart.

Please feel free to comment with your own ideas and suggestions. Remember, the revolution will not be funded; we all have to keep in mind that service provision, while good and essential work, is only one piece of the puzzle. The battle will be won by the small, everyday acts of resistance that all of us can do.

8. Support mothers. Fight for legislation and local resources to help mothers feed, clothe, and educate their children as they see fit. Participate in local programs that will help mothers and families with childcare and basic needs. Help mothers who want to raise up their babies themselves to do so without judgement or shame. Fight the societal impulse to criticize mothers for anything that happens to their child and every decision they make on behalf of their own family. Support mothers.

Aug 1

Affordable Care Act Ensures Women Receive Preventative Services at No Additional Cost

bebinn:

Historic new guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost were announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Developed by the independent Institute of Medicine, the new guidelines require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services such as well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening, and contraception without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible.

Last summer, HHS released new insurance market rules under the Affordable Care Act requiring all new private health plans to cover several evidence-based preventive services like mammograms, colonoscopies, blood pressure checks, and childhood immunizations without charging a copayment, deductible or coinsurance. The Affordable Care Act also made recommended preventive services free for people on Medicare.

Today’s announcement builds on that progress by making sure women have access to a full range of recommended preventive services without cost sharing, including:

  • well-woman visits;
  • screening for gestational diabetes;
  • human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for women 30 years and older;
  • sexually-transmitted infection counseling;
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and counseling;
  • FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling;
  • breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; and
  • domestic violence screening and counseling.

New health plans will need to include these services without cost sharing for insurance policies with plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2012.  The rules governing coverage of preventive services which allow plans to use reasonable medical management to help define the nature of the covered service apply to women’s preventive services.  Plans will retain the flexibility to control costs and promote efficient delivery of care by, for example, continuing to charge cost-sharing for branded drugs if a generic version is available and is just as effective and safe for the patient to use.

The administration also released an amendment to the prevention regulation that allows religious institutions that offer insurance to their employees the choice of whether or not to cover contraception services. This regulation is modeled on the most common accommodation for churches available in the majority of the 28 states that already require insurance companies to cover contraception.  HHS welcomes comment on this policy.

“Women” in this case should apply to everyone with a uterus.

If you want to be TECHNICAL…

jaytruthistheway:

Every time a male masturbates (or ejaculates unintentionally), a man & woman have sex with a condom or on birth control, a woman takes the day after pill, a woman goes through menstruation, or a man & woman has sex and it doesn’t result in pregnancy, that’s at LEAST one potential life lost.

But the huge issue is abortion, because it’s closer to birth I assume. And the result of people’s discomfort with it is pictures like this: 

This image which leads you to believe that the fetus is aware of abortion & thinking this very thought….if that’s the case, why don’t I put a picture of a man masturbating & a million speech bubbles out of his testicles saying “Daddy’s killing us…he doesn’t love us…he’s an in-compassionate human & should put our lives above that of his selfish agenda.” Or, perhaps I should take a woman in a tampax ad & put a thought bubble near her abdomen & write “My mommy’s body’s killing me…why mommy? Don’t you love me? Why couldn’t you find me a sperm cell?”

If you’re gunna be against abortion, it’s logical that you should be against anything that compromises a sperm cell or an egg cell becoming a baby. Or, you know, you could just stop being hypocritical & more importantly stop policing people’s bodies.

Somebody needs to make these images. Stat.

Planned Parenthood Donation Options

dizzydizzy:

A few people I know have mentioned this dollar-for-dollar donation thing related to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund

And I mean it’s always great to donate with your money, obviously, and nobody can or should tell you exactly how to be charitable

But the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, as far as I understand it, is supporting the political campaign related to PP, to work against slander and misinformation and all of that, which means that donating to them does help, but it’s not directly financially supporting Planned Parenthood.

Without PP having enough support themselves, political support funding isn’t too helpful, so I looked and apparently there is a similar dollar-for-dollar donation thing directly for Planned Parenthood, so there’s that just in case.

I’m a bit confused as to who exactly is providing the matched donation, since normally it would be, like, ‘X COMPANY will match your donation!’ or something, and since if it’s just PP/PPAF themselves matching the donation, it’s not exactly doubling it since the money is already theirs…

And I did a bit of looking into specifically PP and their financial status, and it looks like specifically the combined Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota are in a rough spot, so it might be a good option to donate specifically to them by using the local donation box on the general donation page.

Whatever option you take or don’t take, I just figured it might be helpful for those who are for this cause who might want a bit more info before they go ahead with a donation.

thanks for the info!

Beyond Condoms: The Long Quest for a Better Male Contraceptive

cyanobacteria:

For decades new, reliable contraceptives for men have seemed imminent. Why isn’t there one available yet?

[Image description: Several pale blue/white sperm are moving toward a large pink egg.]

A joke among researchers in the field of male contraception is that a clinically approved alternative to condoms or vasectomy has been five to 10 years away for the past 40 years. The so-close-yet-so-far state of male contraceptive development has persisted in large part because of three serious hurdles: the technical challenges of keeping millions of sperm at bay, the stringent safety standards that a drug intended for long-term use in healthy people must meet, and, ultimately, the question of whether men will use it.

Read more

**Please note that although the article says male contraceptive, they really mean a better contraceptive for people who produce sperm because not all men can produce sperm and not all people who produce sperm are men. To assume so erases people who are trans* or have non-binary genders.

Jun 9

Anti-Abortion Groups Push To Outlaw Contraceptives By Redefining Personhood

ganymedefromgallifrey:

Anti-Abortion Groups Push To Outlaw Contraceptives By Redefining Personhood

A fringe anti-abortion group, Personhood USA, has been startlingly successful at pushing forward legislation across the country that would redefine life as beginning at the moment of fertilization, effectively outlawing contraceptives like birth control pills. Although the medical community has long been in agreement that fertilization does not mark the beginning of a pregnancy — fertilized eggs must first be implanted, and only about half of fertilized eggs actually result in a pregnancy — a growing number of lawmakers are supporting Personhood USA’s efforts to buck medical expertise and legally define life as the moment a sperm meets an egg.

If they succeed in passing such a law — and if such a law survives judicial scrutiny — it could turn common forms of birth control into the legal equivalent of a homicide. While “personhood” laws have always been a transparent attempt to outlaw abortion, the legislation supported by groups like Personhood USA goes much further in trying to assert government control over women’s bodies. These laws would recognize every fertilized egg as an individual and complete human being with full rights, and place millions of women in legal jeopardy. According to 2008 numbers, around 11 million American women use birth control pills and another 2 million use intrauterine devices (IUDs).

Contraceptives like the pill and IUDs not only act to prevent fertilization, but, if fertilization does occur, may prevent that fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus. Personhood USA considers this tantamount to abortion, and wants to make it a punishable offense for women to control their own fertility. Worse, because the proposed legislation could make any effort to terminate a pregnancy a criminal act, it could also bar doctors from saving the lives of women with ectopic pregnancies, which are never viable and need to be terminated as soon as possible.

Also at risk of prosecution would be the millions of women whose fertilized eggs never begin dividing, never implant, or implant but spontaneously abort. This often happens so early on that the woman never even knows she might have been pregnant.

Keith Mason, the president of Personhood USA, is transparent about his motives, telling NPR, “Certainly women, my wife included, would want to know if the pills they’re taking would kill a unique human individual. And I think there’s a lot of misinformation about that, or lack of information.” Sadly, Mason is not alone. Rachel Maddow reports that this Saturday is the fourth annual Protest the Pill event. Each year the event, put on by another fringe group called American Life League, features slogans like “The pill kills babies,” “The pill kills women,” and “The pill kills marriage.”

The very real risk to women posed by the “redefining life” agenda led Colorado to defeat personhood amendments in 2008 and 2010. But Alabama is one step away from passing this legislation, and voters in Mississippi could vote on a personhood amendment to their state Constitution this November. Personhood USA hopes to get proposals on the ballot in nearly half the states by 2012.

In the landmark privacy case Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut law that made it illegal for married couples to use contraception. It’s difficult to imagine that the justices would overrule Griswold, but not as difficult as it once was. Justice Thomas’ dissent in Lawrence v. Texas leaves little doubt that he would overrule Griswold if given the chance, and Chief Justice Roberts disparaged Griswold in an article he drafted in 1981, although he claimed to have backed away from that view in his confirmation hearing.