Posts tagged ‘contraception’

February 21, 2011

Planned Parenthood is not synonymous with abortion

by d
Picture Of Ortho Tri-Cyclen oral contraceptive...

Image via Wikipedia

Planned Parenthood has a really descriptive name. It does exactly what the name implies. We don’t talk much about “family planning” these days, and we should.

Before modern science kicked in, conception was, for the most part, a game of roulette. Folk remedies and leather condoms weren’t nearly as effective as people wanted them to be, but they kept trying. All it took was some observation and life experience to see how inconvenient–and dangerous–the lack of control could be.

When a woman gives birth too young, she and the child suffer. (18 is the minimum recommended.) If she has children too close together, she and both children can suffer. Doctors and midwives knew these things; parents knew them. But what do you say to a couple who have had the number of children they want? Spend the rest of your lives together in separate beds? More babies happened.

Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s first president, was a remarkable woman who saw the effect this had on people, particularly poor people and women. She also saw this suffering as, at best, unnecessary. At worst, it was a deliberate means of keeping women in subjugation.

In 1912, after a fire destroyed the home that William designed, the Sanger family moved back to New York City, where Margaret went to work in the East Side slums of Manhattan. That same year, she also started writing a column for the New York Call entitled “What Every Girl Should Know.” Distributing a pamphlet, Family Limitation, to women, Sanger repeatedly caused scandal and risked imprisonment by acting in defiance of the Comstock Law of 1873, which outlawed as obscene the dissemination of contraceptive information and devices.

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July 20, 2010

AIDs Progress: A vaginal gel he never has to know about

by d
via Flickr user Evissa

via Flickr user Evissa

The Washington Post is reporting encouraging results about a new product-in-testing. The product is a gel, to be used vaginally, by women who have little control over their sexual health.

In a study of 900 South African women, a gel containing the antiretroviral drug tenofovir reduced the overall chance of infection by 39 percent. In women who used the substance consistently and as directed, the protection was even better: 54 percent.

The findings of the study, which will be described Tuesday at the 18th International AIDS Conference in Vienna, marks the first success in a 15-year-long search for a method of HIV prevention that can be controlled by women at risk of contracting the disease through sexual intercourse. Short of a vaccine, an effective “vaginal microbicide” has been the most elusive goal in the epidemic.

The fight against AIDs has run up against cultural barriers. Aside from religions like Catholicism forbidding the use of condoms, many regions, particularly in Africa, have long-standing views that make the spread of infection almost inevitable.

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July 18, 2010

Call for action: Abortion Coverage in Interim US Health Care Pools

by d

A lot of fuss has been made about so-called “Obamacare,” the US’s new health insurance legislation. It went on for months, etc., etc., and was finally passed in March. Now they have to sort out how they’re actually going to carry it out, including the transitional programs that will help people limp along until the full bill comes into effect.

NARAL Pro-Choice America warns:

The Obama administration just announced it will exclude abortion coverage in the temporary health-insurance pools that will transition us into the new health-care system.

This policy means that women who are part of these pools because they have significant health problems, such as diabetes or cancer, will not be able to access abortion care, even if their health is at further risk

The administration’s policy is similar to the ban proposed by anti-choice Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.). That’s unacceptable – even if it applies to a program that will last only about three years.

Abortion is the most common surgical procedure women receive. At a time when the country is on the cusp of implementing nationwide health-insurance coverage, we should not treat abortion care differently in the new high-risk pools.

Help us fight back. Tell President Obama that the abortion-coverage ban was not part of the agreement on health reform and that he should not exclude abortion coverage from newly created high-risk pools.

They have a petition to sign here.

I did not know that “Abortion is the most common surgical procedure women receive.” That’s actually really scary. It shouldn’t be. I’m pro-choice, and pro-abortion in a number of circumstances (for instance, when the parents-to-be are still in effing high school), but that doesn’t mean I don’t find abortion regrettable. It is.

I am 100% pro-contraception. Prevention is the better part of cure. We wouldn’t have to worry so much about abortion is we educated our children and made contraceptives more available to everyone.

As for using federal money in health care programs to fund abortions, well, I can sympathize with people who don’t like that. But then I’d like to be able to chuck Viagra from the plan, too.

June 30, 2010

Plan Bashful

by f

So here’s a story D found for me on the intarwebz while I enjoyed my wild Tuesday.

It astonishes me that Plan B use is so widespread in India. I know it shouldn’t, given the billion-plus sex drives. The cavalier attitude toward sex does bother me, but I can’t see that it is any of my business. Most worrisome is that these women seem to confuse the morning-after pill with normal contraceptive methods. (Overuse causes uterine infections and irregular periods.)

According to Ms. Rai, advertisements claim the pill is a safe alternative to abortions. I find this a reprehensible practice as it is misleading. This pill will only stop a pregnancy if the fertilized egg has not yet attached itself to the uterine wall. If it has, this pill can do nothing. It’s possible — though not probable — that the morning after pill will not work in some cases. So this doesn’t stop or even prevent abortions from needing to take place.

However irrational and sometimes downright dumb this Plan B frenzy might seem, I almost admire the boldness of the new Indian woman. Yes, she knows about plan B. And, most tellingly, she’ll ask for it.

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February 18, 2010

Your Happy Little Accident, My Traumatic Mishap

by d

The DailyMail is a paragon of trash, there’s no sense in pretending otherwise. It’s a tabloid. Thanks to the Internet, I can now browse their car wreck of a front page whenever I want. After this evening, I’m quite sure I never want to again.

The Daily Mail’s Leah Hardy opines:

Of course we women don’t want a male pill – it would end those happy little ‘accidents’

That headline makes my stomach churn. It implies deceit, selfishness, and a cavalier attitude that is unforgivable.

Imagine, for a moment, that you know of a couple who are undecided about having a baby. It doesn’t matter if it would be their first or fifth child, they just aren’t sure about having one right now. Maggie is on the pill, and every night she pauses before swallowing the next. She wonders, should she skip it tonight? Should she tell John she is ready for this, and just not fill next month’s prescription?
In the end, John makes the decision for her. He swaps her pills for candy. In two weeks, she is knocked up, and confused.
John has stolen Maggie’s right to choose. If this scenario doesn’t anger you, it should. If you’re pro-abortion, you’re probably fuming, wishing you could give John a swift kick to the nuts.
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