Boston Walk For Choice


Posts tagged with "reproductive health"

New York City Has a New Mandate for Sex Education


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?

Sex education to become mandatory in New York schools


A good interventionist policy from New York.

City officials said that while there would be frank discussions with students as young as 11 on topics like anatomy, puberty, pregnancy and the risks of unprotected sex, the focus was to get students to wait until they were older to experiment. At the same time, knowing that many teenagers are sexually active, the administration wants to teach them about safe sex in the hopes of reducing pregnancy, disease and dropouts.

Good news from New York!

How We Can Fight Back- Planned Parenthood Edition


A lot of politicians are claiming that all Planned Parenthood does is provide abortion services, but people who are educated and/or have actually used Planned Parenthood services know that isn’t the truth. Planned Parenthood is an important part of the community and we must protect it.


What if... every time someone went to Planned Parenthood, they took a picture of the services they were provided or wrote a summary of their visit? I know that this would mean giving up some confidentiality, but what would Congress do if there were thousands of pictures/stories being sent in daily proving them wrong? You get a yearly PAP smear— take a picture in your stirrups giving a thumbs up! When I need blood work to test my thyroid levels— I’ll display them proudly with a smile. Got a UTI? Take a picture! Sought out counseling? Write a story!

 A story thanking Planned Parenthood for their services and being sent to your Senator would disprove the notion that Planned Parenthood should have its funding taken away.

If this became big enough, I think it might help in re-educating politicians on how wrong they are and seeing personally all the people they are affecting might finally make Michelle Bachman shut the fuck up already. is looking for exactly this. Send them your stories!

Aug 3

"Republican-driven political discourse of late has been about nothing but the importance of cutting spending and saving money, and so the GOP should be delighted with this simple and clear-cut promise of long-term savings by making contraception free. The IOM report indicated that the direct medical cost of unintended pregnancy in 2002 was $5 billion, with a savings from contraception that year estimated at $19.3 billion. With nearly half of U.S. pregnancies unintended, there’s quite a bit of room to save money with free contraception."


Why conservative opposition to free contraception makes no sense.

Jul 8

Abortion in Norway compared to the USA


When I met Dr. Hauge in person, my sense of being on a different planet intensified. To summarize our conversation:

  • Abortion is “completely integrated” into the Norwegian health care system, paid for (like other medical procedures) by the government, and available virtually everywhere in the country;
  • ob/gyn residents are expected to undergo training in abortion provision, and though opt-out provisions exist, very few young physicians make use of them;
  • health care professionals involved in abortion provision are neither sanctioned by medical colleagues nor harassed by anti-abortion activists.

Abortion, in short, is largely a non-politicized issue, both within Norwegian medical circles, and the population at large.

A truly fascinating article. 

So that means Norway must have way more abortions than the US, right? And it must not care about mothers and children, right?


Norway, where abortion is freely available, subsidized by the government, and apparently not stigmatized, was recently named by a leading children’s advocacy group as “the world’s best place to be a mother” because of its family-friendly policies and excellent record of both maternal and infant mortality.

The United States, in contrast, notwithstanding the sanctimonious bows to motherhood by anti-abortion politicians, came in 31st—the worst of any developed nation, due mainly to its shameful record of both maternal mortality and under-five mortality.

Norway not only has a better record than the United States with respect to teenage pregnancies and births, but also has a lower abortion rate—a reflection, among other things, of Norwegians’ better access to contraception, its comprehensive sex education policies, and its generally more mature attitude toward human sexuality.

Hashtag #whatitreallytakes demonstrates the difficulties of abortion access


Third Wave Foundation is asking people to tweet about #whatitreallytakes to get an abortion, in light of the publication of their Emergency Abortion Fund report, including that useful graphic I posted earlier. A great way to highlight that an abortion is not just an abortion.

Jun 9

Anti-Abortion Groups Push To Outlaw Contraceptives By Redefining Personhood


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.