- Check out this fascinating map of what I’d like to call The United States of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. (News Mic)
- The birth control pill advanced women’s economic freedom immensely … and we are SO grateful!! (Businessweek)
- More and more women are speaking out about their abortions and telling stories, not of trauma or tragedy, but of triumph, relief, and gratitude. (Al Jazeera America)
- The Supreme Court is set to make a monumental decision about pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, and for once, pro-choice and anti-abortion activists agree. Don’t get too used to this. (Think Progress)
- The state of sex education in our country is positively shameful. (Salon)
- Don’t shoot the messenger, but the CDC says the benefits of circumcision far outweigh its risks. (Seattle PI)
- The U.S. Department of Education is taking a stand on behalf of transgender students! Schools will not be able to discriminate against transgender students or treat them as anything but the gender they self-identify as. (RH Reality Check)
- This pregnant woman verbally eviscerated a group of anti-abortion zealots harassing women outside an abortion clinic in London. Anyone else surprised that this “sidewalk counseling” madness happens across the pond, too? (HuffPo)
- Indonesia has pioneered the first male birth control pill! If you’re wondering whose palms we have to grease to get our hands on it in the United States, the answer is complicated. (USA Today)
- Why aren’t more women using the superbly effective birth control implant? (Vox)
- Apparently there’s a weird subset of people who think teaching kids medically accurate, age-appropriate information about sexuality, reproduction, and sexual health will unleash some sort of rabid sex demon upon these poor kids and they’ll lose every ounce of their innocence! So to prevent that from happening, the folks out in Gilbert are censoring factual information from text books. (AZ Central)
- The co-creator of the birth control pill thinks all sex will be for fun by 2050. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? (Jezebel)
- As many as 8 million women haven’t been screened for cervical cancer (via Pap testing) in the past five years! (ABC News)
- The best thing about this piece on why unplanned births are a bigger calamity than unmarried parents? This quotation: “Empowering people to have children only when they themselves say they want them, and feel prepared to be parents, would do more than any current social program to reduce poverty and improve the life prospects of children.” (The Atlantic)
- My home state, Ohio, is leading the charge to enact the most extreme abortion bill in the nation. HB 248 would ban abortion as soon as the fetal heartbeat can be detected (around six weeks gestation) and has a fair chance of passing since Ohio’s House and Senate are controlled by Republicans. (Cleveland.com)
- Americans have short memories when it comes to remembering what life was like pre-Roe v. Wade. From hospitals having to have “septic abortion wards” dedicated to treating women for complications from unsafe, illegal procedures and botched self-abortion attempts, to thousands of women dying from their injuries, it really was a harrowing, scary time in our history. We hold out hope that those days are behind us forever. (Think Progress)
- India’s government sponsored a “population control” effort, which pays women to undergo sterilization, botched an obscene amount of the surgical procedures, killing 12 women and injuring dozens more. Positively sickening. (NY Times)
- Anti-gay, anti-birth control, anti-abortion, anti-common sense, intolerant religious fanatic Cathi Herrod continues to wreak absolute havoc upon the political landscape in Arizona. (Media Matters)
- The longstanding ban on gay men giving blood donations may soon be lifted. The caveat? The men will have to be celibate from homosexual sex for at least a year. (Slate)
- Despite my own history as a clinic escort, my blood still boils at the sight of “sidewalk counselors” who hatefully troll women seeking reproductive health care. (Cosmopolitan)
On the morning of June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court (or should I say the men of the Supreme Court) ruled in favor of two corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, who argued that they should not have to provide insurance coverage for their employees’ birth control, as required by the Affordable Care Act, because of the business owners’ personal religious beliefs.
The court stated that when corporations are “closely held” and it can be shown that the owners operate the business consistently with certain religious beliefs, then these corporations can be exempted from federal laws that burden those religious beliefs.
Emergency contraception and IUDs work primarily by preventing fertilization, and won’t interfere with existing pregnancies.
The “beliefs” in question held by these two corporations concern two forms of birth control — emergency contraception and IUDs (intrauterine devices). But their “beliefs,” that emergency contraception and IUDs are abortifacients, aren’t rooted in actual science.
Here are the details.
Hobby Lobby believes that “life begins at conception.” They define “conception” as the time at which a sperm and egg combine to create a zygote.
The medical community, including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), defines conception as the point at which a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. According to ACOG, the term “conception” properly means implantation. Continue reading
- I’ve spoken about my experiences as a clinic escort and the importance of buffer zones around abortion clinics many times on this blog. We at Planned Parenthood are staunch supporters of buffer zones and believe they’re crucial in protecting our patients from potential harm and harassment. So, imagine our collective dismay yesterday when the Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision calling the 35-foot clinic buffer zone in Massachusetts “unconstitutional” on the basis that it violates the First Amendment of those who wish to “counsel” clinic patients. Pretty infuriating to say the least. (Mother Jones)
- Will SCOTUS also throw women under the bus in the upcoming Hobby Lobby decision? (RH Reality Check)
- Four years ago, Aaron Gouveia and his wife had to make the heartbreaking decision to abort their non-viable, very much wanted child. His story describes how the presence of anti-abortion protesters made the saddest day of their lives exponentially worse. (Time)
- President Obama is the first Commander in Chief to help advance transgender rights! (Associated Press)
- Women who volunteer in the Peace Corps are now able to receive insurance coverage for abortion (albeit in limited circumstances: rape, incest, or life endangerment). Better to have baby steps than no steps, I guess. (RH Reality Check)
- Check out this fascinating piece on the history of sex-ed films shown in schools over the years. (Truth-out)
- The headline might sound sensational, but it’s the truth — Abortion Clinics Are Closing Because Their Doors Aren’t Big Enough. (Vice)
- The Vatican is aware their teachings on contraception aren’t followed or even highly regarded by most Catholics, but apparently, it’s easier to keep the doctrine stale and irrelevant than to evolve because they’re not likely to make any changes. (Toronto Star)