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Abortion Rate Increasing Among Poor Women, Even As It Decreases Among Most Other Groups

Posted: May 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Abortion Rate Increasing Among Poor Women, Even As It Decreases Among Most Other Groups

As if we need more evidence of class warfare, a new study by the Guttmacher Institute found that despite a decrease in abortion rates from 2000 to 2008, abortion rates among poor women actually increased. Study author Rachel K. Jones notes reasons including contraception restrictions, which then result in unintended pregnancy, and the economic downturn as potential contributing factors. "Antiabortion restrictions and cuts to publicly funded family planning services disproportionately affect poor women, making it even more difficult for them to gain access to the contraceptive and abortion services they need," she said.

From the Guttmacher press release:

In addition, when confronted with an unintended pregnancy, women who might have felt equipped to support a child or another child in a more stable economic climate may have decided that they were unable to do so during a time of economic uncertainty.

Abortion: where class warfare and the culture war meet.

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Female orgasm ‘overwhelms’ | Perth Now

Posted: November 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

In a news article that has amazingly managed to put the most obvious and the most awesome thing ever said about orgasms in a single sentence, the Australian Sunday Times reports professor of psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey Barry Komisaruk and his colleagues produced the first film of women's brains as they approach and achieve climax. Okay, so what's both simultaneously obvious and awesome about that? Says the Times:

A woman not only experiences longer and deeper orgasms than a man, but they so overwhelm her nervous system that they leave her temporarily impervious to pain, the film shows.

That's right, orgasms may leave women temporarily impervious to pain. Impervious, as in "invincible", in the words of Newser's Evann Gastaldo. During climax, 30 parts of the brain are affected. And the duh part: men's orgasms, also studied, are "not as strong." Le sigh.

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Mob set Naroda guesthouse on fire – India – DNA

Posted: November 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A sex worker from Kolkata has died and two other women were injured in India this week due to burns sustained after a mob of about 50 people set fire to the guesthouse they were in. The mob of vigilantes believed the guesthouse, which had been raided by local police twice before, to be engaged in presumably prostitution-related "illegal activities." Evidently, however, despite any concerns for the guesthouse's occupants, the vigilantes decided manhandling the people there, pelting the building with stones, and ultimately committing arson that lead to murder was more appropriate behavior.

It is a grizzly reminder of the violence sex workers face at the hands of so-called "rescuers." While some of the loudest anti-prostitution activists are women, their advocacy perpetuates whore stigma to the detriment of all women; they're frauds.

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What Happened When I Yelled Back at the “Christians” Calling My Wife a Murderer | Reproductive Justice | AlterNet

Posted: October 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

"Consider this my plea: stop terrorizing women. Stop adding trauma to their trauma," Aaron Gouveia, who, along with his wife, was devastated to learn their baby had Sirenomelia ("mermaid syndrome," where the legs are fused together), no bladder, no kidneys, and no chance for survival. But on the worst day of this couples' life—the day they decided to abort the pregnancy—so-called "Christians" professing "love" using "signs and pictures of torn-up fetuses" made their day worse. That's when Aaron decided to confront them:

Running on pure adrenaline, and without even a hint of a plan, I grabbed my cell phone and crossed the street. I didn’t know what to say or how to say it, I just knew I wanted to make public the cowardice of these protesters. The video's [here]—they didn’t disappoint.

"If you're able," Aaron says, "stand up to these bullies in nonviolent ways. Speak out. And if you have a camera, use it."

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When Abortion Is Actually A Crime | RHRealityCheck.org

Posted: October 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

On the heels of an Australian decision that a couple were – in defiance of the facts – not guilty of breaking anti-abortion laws (because the laws are outdated and could be easily misinterpreted), Amanda Marcotte asks tough questions about the meaning of anti-choice legislation and its effect on women who become pregnant without being ready for motherhood: "What would happen to those women? Will anti-choicers, like cowardly Australian politicians, feel like it’s just fine for abortion to be going on as long at it’s officially condemned by the government and there’s a satisfying stream of women being sent to the emergency room because they inexpertly tried to self-abort? Or will they, like the cops in the Leach case, decide that it’s time to start sending women to jail for having the temerity to act as if they know their own situation in terms of readiness to be a mother better than strangers?" All good, hard, important questions. How will you answer them?

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A twist on equality laws – The Boston Globe

Posted: October 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on A twist on equality laws – The Boston Globe

Although lovely, the Berkshire Mountains in Western MA may not be the sunniest part of America – but that doesn’t mean that women shouldn’t have just as much opportunity to feel the sun on their skin as men do. Katherine Gundelfinger of Pittsfield, MA has succeeded in getting a question on the ballot in her county, asking for support for legislation – not yet introduced – that will change the laws around nudity such that they are equally strict (or loose) for men and women. Pittsfield Mayor James Ruberto doesn’t think this is particularly important, saying “I just don’t think that the issue is worthy of discussion.’’ Of course, he’s allowed to sunbathe topless free of consequence – and there are plenty of people who don’t have that right, or who support the idea the everybody should, who think it’s definitely worth of discussion.

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NYC to Crisis Pregnancy Centers: Stop Misleading Pregnant Women – TIME Healthland

Posted: October 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on NYC to Crisis Pregnancy Centers: Stop Misleading Pregnant Women – TIME Healthland

So-called "crisis pregnancy centers" presenting as though they are actual medical centers in some cases and operated by anti-choice ideologues are just one example of the blatant (and well-funded) propaganda the anti-choice movement vomits. "I regularly see a poster that features an anxious-looking teenage girl under the headline: 'Free Abortion Alternatives: FREE Confidential Options Counseling,'" Meredith Melnick writes. "The issue, according to [NYC Council members], is that these clinics deceive women."

But newly proposed legislation may "force crisis-pregnancy clinics to explicitly state in advertisements, websites and in their offices that they do not offer abortions, contraceptives or any type of abortion referral." Funny, then, that anti-choicers are obtusely saying that—requiring them to speak—is a violation of their right to free speech.

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New Study Finds Abortion Does Not Cause Mental Health Problems Among Adolescents

Posted: September 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on New Study Finds Abortion Does Not Cause Mental Health Problems Among Adolescents

New findings released online by the Guttmacher Institute are able to show for the first time that adolescents who have abortions do not have an increased risk of depression or other psychological distress such as low self-esteem. The study may put to rest many people's fears of possible psychological consequences for teens who have abortions. For us, it seems like a no-brainer that healthy, happy people want to be the ones making their own choices with regards to their own reproductive options.

Interestingly, the study's authors suggest that the pre-abortion counseling mandated by 34 States like Texas, which specifically requires "that women be warned of possible negative psychological consequences resulting from the procedure" may "paradoxically…jeopardize women’s health by adding unnecessary anxiety and undermining women’s right to informed consent." In other words, abortion's not the problem, the fear of one is.

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Councilors mull virginity as criteria for enrollment | The Jakarta Post

Posted: September 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Councilors mull virginity as criteria for enrollment | The Jakarta Post

A seriously misguided Indonesian legislator, Bambang Bayu Suseno, has proposed that access to public education be restricted only to girls who’re virgins. I wish I were exaggerating, but I'm not. According to a report by Jon Afrizal, Suseno asked, "Why are girls who lose their virginity allowed to go to public school?" Clearly, Mr. Suseno is suffering from a poor education in the matters of basic human rights, which guarantees every human being the right to access public education whether they are a virgin or not.

His rationale? "Parents are obviously afraid of their daughters being deflowered before the time comes, so [girls] can undergo the virginity test and automatically protect their dignity." Um. What about boys? And, human rights violations aside, exactly how virginity will be determined is unsurprisingly undefined. This is yet another example of the harm caused by sexist notions of purity.

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Medical Student Won’t Perform Pelvic Exams on Anesthetized Patients | The Unnecesarean

Posted: September 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Medical Student Won’t Perform Pelvic Exams on Anesthetized Patients | The Unnecesarean

What's most terrifying about this story is not the fact that medical students are regularly given the opportunity to preform pelvic exams on female patients who are anesthetized and unconscious waiting for another procedure, although that's frightening enough. No, what's most terrifying about this story is that it this invasive, nonconsensual practice has already been reported on; but in January 2010 AND – and here is where it gets really scary – in 2003, on the defunct medical blog ShamExam.com. This is not late breaking, this is re-breaking, from at least seven years ago, and clearly the practice is still going on. Dr. Michael Gerger says in the original '03 article " If you’re anesthetized and you’re in the OB/GYN department you probably have had students practice pelvic exams on you regardless of what you’re in the hospital for – even if the procedure you need doesn’t require a pelvic exam!" How is that not malpractice?

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