tagged w/ Family Planning
Contraceptives save 272,000 lives every year averting maternal deaths
The Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate saying that all employers, including religious organizations that hire people, must provide health insurance that covers the purchase of contraceptives.
Republicans, always looking for a cudgel with which to beat President Obama, have seized on this as an attack on religious rights. The compliant, corporate-owned, lick-spittle mainstream media has fallen in line, giving Republicans a platform from which to wheedle and lie and distort the issue — with impunity.
http://deepbrainmedia.com/2012/02/09/religious-organizations-and-health-coverage-wheres-the-line/The Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate saying that all... more
To mark the world’s population reaching 7 billion on Halloween 2011, WORLDbytes has launched this hilarious parody of modern day Malthusian thinking. The programme features talented Blood Brothers star and ex-RSC actor James Hirst as the central character, Bill. For Bill the news of 7 billion is a Halloween nightmare. His solutions include: getting rid of ‘thickies’, euthanasia, gelding and paying African women not to have children- a carbon offsetting scheme first proposed by the Optimum Population Trust, now rebranded as Population Matters. Bill is no Daily Mail reader, he gets his over-consumption paranoia from the Guardian and he’s going for the cull. This parody reflects WORLDbytes’ concern to challenge the profoundly anti-human roots of over population ideas.To mark the world’s population reaching 7 billion on Halloween 2011, WORLDbytes... more
Texas cut funding for family planning and health screenings for 284,000 low income women, and as a result 20,500 additional births are expected. Texas also cut funding for home health care for the elderly, care for the mentally ill, and 76% was cut for programs to train primary care physicians: http://bit.ly/rq9Gb3Texas cut funding for family planning and health screenings for 284,000 low income... more
During the first Earth Day in 1970, environmental activist Stephanie Mills made headlines when she announced she would not reproduce to avoid contributing to climate change and other environmental problems attributed to a growing human population. Forty-one years later, should reducing population again be considered as a way to contain global energy demand?During the first Earth Day in 1970, environmental activist Stephanie Mills made... more
This Commentary, by South East Asia contributing editor Henrylito Tacio, looks at what has happened to the 'Lost Eden' of the Philippines -- a country where the influential Catholic Church continues to oppose access to modern means of family planning. While that continues, he says, it will be difficult to ease the country's runaway population growth and its environmental woes.This Commentary, by South East Asia contributing editor Henrylito Tacio, looks at what... more
Batam, Riau Islands. Indonesias population grew by 1.49 percent, or by 32.7 million people, in just a decade and at the current rate the country might have 450 million people by 2045, an official said on Monday.
Sugiri Syarif, head ofthe National Population and Family Planning "Board (BKKBN), said the growth ofthe population in just a decade was equal to the population of Canada and ex-ceeded that of Malaysia.Batam, Riau Islands. Indonesias population grew by 1.49 percent, or by 32.7 million... more
By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger
How will the next generation of seniors pay for health care if Republicans privatize Medicare? The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) suggests some options in a darkly funny ad featuring a grandfatherly gentleman mowing lawns and stripping for extra cash. The ad will run in 24 GOP-controlled swing districts, Suzy Khimm reports for Mother Jones.
The ad is a riposte to Paul Ryan’s budget, which would eliminate Medicare and replace it with a system of “premium support”–annual lump sum cash payments to insurers. These payments would be pegged to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) +1%, even though health care costs are growing much faster than the economy at large. That means that real benefits will shrink over time. Seniors will be forced to come up with extra money to buy insurance, assuming they can find an insurer who’s willing to sell it to them.
Josh Holland of AlterNet predicts that the GOP is committing political suicide with the its anti-Medicare budget. The more ordinary voters learn about Ryan’s budget, the less they like it:
A poll conducted last week found that, “when voters learn almost anything about [the Ryan plan], they turn sharply and intensely against it.” And why wouldn’t they? According to an analysis by the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the Republicans’ “roadmap” would “end most of government other than Social Security, health care, and defense by 2050,” while providing the “largest tax cuts in history” for the wealthy.
Holland interviews an economist who estimates that the Medicaid cuts in the Ryan budget alone would cost 2.1 million jobs.
Under the bus
The Democratic spin about the deal to avert a budget shutdown was that Democratic leaders held fast against Republican demands to defund Planned Parenthood. However, as Katha Pollitt explains in The Nation, the Democrats capitulated on other reproductive rights issues in order to save Planned Parenthood.
For example, under the budget deal, Washington, D.C. will no longer be allowed to use local taxes to pay for abortions. Democrats also agreed to $17 million in cuts to the Title X Family Planning Program, Planned Parenthood’s largest source of federal funding.
American women aren’t alone under the bus. Jane Roberts notes at RH Reality Check that the budget deal slashed $15 million from the U.N. Population Fund, and millions more from USAID’s budget for reproductive health and family planning. At least Democrats successfully rebuffed GOP demands to eliminate funding for the United Nations Population Agency.
And this is at a time when the whole world is coalescing behind the education, health and human rights of the world’s women and girls. What irony!
Blood for oil
Nearing the one-year anniversary of the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed 11 workers, Daniel J. Weiss writes for Grist:
The toll of fossil fuels on human health and the environment is well documented. But our dependence on fossil fuels exacts a very high price on the people who extract or process these fuels. Every year, some men and women who toil in our nation’s coal mines, natural gas fields, and oil rigs and refineries lose their lives or suffer from major injuries to provide the fossil fuels that drive our economy.
Oil rigs are just one of many dangerous places to work in the fossil fuel industry, Weiss notes. Last year, an explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia killed 29 workers. Nearly 4,000 U.S. miners have been killed on the job since 1968.
Natural gas has a cleaner image than coal, but natural gas pipelines are also plagued by high rates of death and injury–892 natural gas workers have been killed on the job and 6,258 have been injured since 1970.
Ashley Hunter of Campus Progress brings you an exciting roundup of the news you need about college and alcohol, just in time for Spring Break. In an attempt to discourage rowdy off-campus partying, the College of the Holy Cross is encouraging its students to drink on campus by keeping the campus pub open later and allowing students under 21 inside as long as they wear different colored wrist bands to show they are too young to be served alcohol.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Pulse for a complete list of articles on health care reform, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger... more
By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger
Vermont is poised to abolish most forms of private health insurance, Lauren Else reports for In These Times. The state’s newly inaugurated Democratic governor, Peter Shumlin, unveiled his health insurance plan in early February. If the state legislature passes the bill, Vermont will become the first state to ban most forms of private health insurance.
The bill is getting support from some unlikely quarters:
On February 24, the Republican Mayor Christopher Louras, of Rutland, urged the state to adopt the single-payer legislation, noting that more than a third of the city’s $7 million annual payroll is consumed by healthcare costs. “The only way to fix the problem is to blow it up and start over,” Louras said.
A very bad doctor
In the Texas Observer, Saul Elbein tells the bizarre story of small-town huckster Dr. Rolando Arafiles and the nurses who exposed him as a quack and paid with their jobs.
Arafiles came to work at Winkler County Memorial Hospital in 2008. Nurses Anne Mitchell and Vickilyn Galle noticed that patients were walking out of his office with mysterious liquids. Arafiles was selling untested dietary supplements.
Sometimes, he even took patients off their real medicine and directed them to buy his cure-alls, which he sold online, and promoted in seminars at the local Pizza Hut. He prescribed powerful thyroid-stimulating drugs to patients with normal thyroid levels, a potentially lethal practice. He was also performing “unconventional” surgeries, even though he wasn’t a surgeon.
The hospital ignored the nurses’ complaints, so they reported Arafiles to the Texas Medical Board. After the board informed Arafiles that he was under investigation, Arafiles got his golf buddy, the local sheriff, to issue a warrant to search the nurses’ computers. The hospital fired the nurses. The local prosecutor indicted them for “misuse of official information” but these charges fizzled out. In 2010, the two women were awarded $750,000 in compensation from the county, but they still haven’t found new nursing jobs.
What are they doing out there?
Lon Newman is the executive director of Family Planning Health Services, a Wisconsin health clinic that offers birth control and other reproductive health care, but doesn’t provide abortions, or even abortion referrals. Anti-choice protesters picket the clinic anyway, Newman reports at RH Reality Check. They carry signs with misleading slogans like “The Pill Kills” and “Stop Chemical Abortion.”
Newman wonders why, given all the pressing problems in Wisconsin, the nation, and the world, some people make it a priority to hang out at Family Planning Health Services and badmouth birth control:
There are so many struggles for freedom, social justice, and disaster relief right now, that I do not think it is justifiable to be blocking access to health care for our uninsured neighbors who want to delay childbearing so they can finish school or take a new job or even wait to have children until they can afford them.
South Dakota institutes 72-hour abortion waiting period
The governor of South Dakota signed legislation this week that will force women seeking abortions in the state to observe a 72-hour waiting period. As Scott Lemieux argues in TAPPED, mandatory waiting period legislation is based on inherently sexist assumptions. By instituting a waiting period, the state is institutionalizing the stereotype that women seeking abortions are acting irrationally and must be coerced into waiting.
Body hatred hasn’t been this popular since the days of the hair shirt. Hundreds of millions of women, and no shortage of men, spend billions of hours and billions of dollars despising their bodies. A new movement is afoot to find the political in this very personal issue, Sarah Seltzer reports in AlterNet. This year, the Women’s Therapy Center Institute will hold a series of summits in New York, London, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Melbourne. In keeping with the theme of “Loved Bodies, Big Ideas” participants are discussing a range of ideas for helping to improve body image, including a so-called “reality stamp,” a seal of approval that would indicate that a photograph hasn’t been digitally altered beyond the bounds of reason. Come to think of it, a “reality stamp” could be useful for all kinds of politics.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Pulse for a complete list of articles on health care reform, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger
Vermont is poised to abolish most... more
Since taking control of the House last month, Republicans have introduced several major anti-abortion bills that women’s rights activists say could place severe limitations on access not only to abortion, but complete reproductive health and family planning services. We speak to Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which provides family planning, contraception and abortion services at more than 800 clinics and health centers across the U.S. serving more than three million patients a year. No federal dollars are used to fund its abortion services. "The most ridiculous part, for those proposing these bills, is that Planned Parenthood does more to prevent unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion than any other organization in America," Richards says. "This is not what the American people voted for." [includes rush transcript–partial]
Go to the link row the video.....................http://www.democracynow.org/2011/2/16/a_war_on_women_gop_billsSince taking control of the House last month, Republicans have introduced several... more
The Frisky reports:
“I’m doing this to de-mystify abortion,” she says. “I’m doing this so other women know, ‘Hey, it’s not nearly as terrifying as I had myself worked up thinking it was.’ It’s just not that bad.”
These are the words of Angie Jackson, a blogger and mother of a 4-year-old son. Her IUD birth control failed; she is four weeks pregnant and writing about her abortion on YouTube, her personal blog, and on Twitter under the hashtag #livetweetingabortion.
Last Thursday, Jackson visited a Planned Parenthood where her doctor gave her the first dose of RU-486, the abortion pill. (Note: The abortion pill is not the same as the morning-after pill.) She had to take four more pills — swallowing two and letting two others dissolve in her mouth—on Friday and Saturday.The Frisky reports:
“I’m doing this to de-mystify abortion,” she... more
Bad girls are fun in parties and sex, but boring in family life
Millions of girls that live on planet Earth and make men's lives better, brighter and healthier, can generally be divided into two major categories: good girls and bad girls. Of course, if a man meets one of the girls from the second of the two categories, his life will get nerve-racking, dull and sick. An evaluation criterion is quite simple. It has to do with a stranger asking a girl for favors. A good girl will say a quick and categorical "no" while a bad one will ask the man "when". There is a set of virtues and shortcomings both types of the girls are bestowed with.
Let us talk about the bad girls first and make a list of their unquestionable virtues.
Their ability to be great fun is on top of the list. They can party all night and they can party the next day too. They laugh a lot, they are fond of flirting. Anybody can feel like a professional lady-killer when hanging out with them.
Bad girls have an optimistic attitude to life. They are full of energy. They do not indulge in self-analysis. They do not tend to fall into a period of depression. Life is a never-ending show for them.
http://theselvedgeyard.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/081427ba2eec6fdc_large1.jpegBad girls are fun in parties and sex, but boring in family life
Millions of girls... more
Promoting birth control in Africa faces a host of obstacles — patriarchal customs, religious taboos, ill-equipped public health systems — but experts also blame a powerful, more distant force: the U.S. government.
Under President George W. Bush, the United States withdrew from its decades-long role as a global leader in supporting family planning, driven by a conservative ideology that favored abstinence and shied away from providing contraceptive devices in developing countries, even to married women.
Bush's mammoth global anti-AIDS initiative, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, poured billions of dollars into Africa but prohibited groups from spending any of it on family planning services or counseling programs, whose budgets flat-lined.
(click on the link for the complete article)Excerpt:
Promoting birth control in Africa faces a host of obstacles —... more
What kind of lessons can we learn here? During the Bush era, when abstinence education received increased funding, reports of teen pregnancy and STDs "rose sharply," according to a new report from the CDC. Birth rates had been in decline since 1991, but that trend has reversed in more than half the states since 2005, according to the Guardian. The report also finds that syphilis has increased by 50 percent among adolescent girls and that gonorrhea and AIDS among teens are on the rise as well. Abstinence education advocates say the problem is not the failure of their curriculum, but that they need more money to promote their "no sex before marriage" message.What kind of lessons can we learn here? During the Bush era, when abstinence education... more
CDT tells the story of an Uighur woman, a member of China's largely Muslim minority, who is facing a forced abortion 26 weeks into her pregnancy.
"Arzigul Tursun, six months pregnant with her third child, is under guard in a hospital in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region, scheduled to undergo an abortion against her will because authorities say she is entitled to only two children.
[...]“Arzigul is being kept in bed number three,” a nurse in the women’s section at Gulja’s Water Gate Hospital said in a telephone interview. “We will give an injection first. Then she will experience abdominal pain, and the baby will come out by itself. But we haven’t given her any injection yet—we are waiting for instructions from the doctors.”
[...]“When she fled the village to avoid abortion, police and Party officials, and the family planning committee officials, all came and interrogated us,” said [Nurmemet Tohtasin, Tursun's husband]. “The deputy chief of the village, a Chinese woman named Wei Yenhua, threatened that if we didn’t find Arzigul and bring her to the village, she would confiscate our land and all our property.”
Since this case has reached the press, international pressure has currently stalled the abortion, if she does not abort, Turson's family could face a prohibitive fine of 45,000 yuan (U.S. $6,590) for transgressing China’s family planning policy.
This is only one in many cases of forced abortion that happens to all ethnicities across China, often condoned by local officials worried about needing to keep below the government-regulated figures for number of births allowed per region. Sadly, this can lead in many cases to a lot of underhand and inhumane tactics, including forced abortion and sterilisation.
*the above image is a propaganda poster that was used as part of China's 'One child policy'CDT tells the story of an Uighur woman, a member of China's largely Muslim... more
Up to 3,000 miscarriages each year in the UK could be prevented thanks to new research into what causes women to lose their baby early in pregnancy. The study sheds new light on how a cheap experimental treatment works and has led to a formal trial of the drug.
Earlier studies suggested that giving steroid drugs to some women who have suffered repeated miscarriages allows them to have a normal pregnancy. Steroids are use widely to treat asthma and eczema and cost just £1 per day.
"There's a massive, desperate need," said Dr Siobhan Quenby at the University of Liverpool, who said she has been "inundated" with email enquiries from women about the treatment. "There are thousands of people around the world who are absolutely desperate because they keep miscarrying and there is no cause found and there is no treatment for them."
Annie Greenhouse, 35, of York had four miscarriages before being given the experimental treatment. "I was absolutely devastated the first time, and it got harder each time. After the fourth one I felt, 'that's it, I can't possibly do this.' I felt I had responsibility for those lives and if I got pregnant and it went wrong I would be responsible."
But the fifth time she got pregnant she was given the steroid treatment and had a successful pregnancy. Her baby Finlay is now nine months old. "It's been fantastic. It has completely changed my life. It's wonderful being a mum. It's the most amazing thing ever."
Quenby estimates that steroids could help around a third of women who suffer unexplained repeated miscarriages. In total around 18,000 women miscarry every year in the UK and around half of these miscarriages are unexplained.
Up to 3,000 miscarriages each year in the UK could be prevented thanks to new research... more
AIDS activists storm the Family Research Council to protest its opposition to condoms, sex education, and science-based HIV prevention. VC2 Producer Dean Hamer was able to get inside and film 12 activists who chained themselves to a "traditional marriage shrine" - until a guard snatched the camera.AIDS activists storm the Family Research Council to protest its opposition to condoms,... more
The Bush Administration has been stripping away women's right to chose since he got in office.The Bush Administration has been stripping away women's right to chose since he... more
Medical researchers found more than one in 10 customers in a sample study on one of the most well-known websites needed a surgical procedure after taking the medication.
Women in more than 70 countries where abortion is restricted, including Northern Ireland, have used the Women on Web site to obtain the drugs for a donation of £55 a time.
Anti-abortion campaigners have labelled the development "worrying".
Women on Web is available in five languages and offers the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol.
It says a combination of the pills causes the non-surgical termination of a pregnancy and can be used up to the ninth week.
The website says it helps women "gain access to a safe abortion with pills in order to reduce the number of deaths due to unsafe abortions".
But the BBC cites a study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology that found that 11 per cent of 400 customers went on to need a surgical procedure - either because the drugs had not completed the abortion or because of excessive bleeding.
Of 200 women who answered questions about their experiences, almost 60 per cent said they were just grateful to have been able to have an abortion in this way, and 30 per cent said it had been stressful but they found the experience acceptable.
Women on Web posts the drugs only to countries where abortion is heavily restricted, and to women who declare they are less than nine weeks' pregnant.
Customers must answer 25 questions before they are allowed to purchase the drugs, and women are advised to have a pregnancy test and an ultrasound if possible. Customers are asked to make a minimum donation of 70 euros (£55).
The website says it is "a digital community of women who have had abortions and individuals and organisations that support abortion rights".
The Family Planning Association in Northern Ireland told the BBC the website was "helpful and reputable", but stated that on two occasions women bought drugs without appropriate medical information and needed medical care after experiencing complications.
Northern Ireland FPA director Audrey Simpson told the broadcaster: "The Women On Web site is very helpful and reputable.
"But for Northern Ireland women, it is encouraging them to break the law - and as an organisation, we have to work within the law.
"We're really concerned about women accessing the rogue sites - we're hearing about it and we know it's happening.
"There are potentially serious medical complications for women from sites which aren't well managed and this could be the new era of backstreet abortions."
But the anti-abortion group Comment on Reproductive Ethics said it was taking abortion "into the shadows".
Spokeswoman Josephine Quintavalle told the BBC: "This is very worrying indeed. It represents further trivialisation of the value of the unborn child.
"It's like taking abortion into the shadows. These drugs have side-effects and tragedies will increase."
Martin Lupton, chair of the ethics committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "The problem with termination services available without access to medical oversight is that we know that women often under-state their gestation.
"The very people who may benefit from this service may have problems with literacy and may not understand their underlying medical conditions.
"They are putting themselves at risk in taking these tablets.
"Having said that, access to illegal termination services is extremely hazardous in any case and it may well be that this is a safer form of termination than illegal surgical methods, which may be the only alternative they have."
Medical researchers found more than one in 10 customers in a sample study on one of... more
Gina Conde is a health worker with a women's organisation and runs a clinic in the community where she lives. This is the story about her work to help other women understand their sexual and reproductive rights.Gina Conde is a health worker with a women's organisation and runs a clinic in... more