women's health

Funny Story...

So I was at the pharmacy and needed to ask one of the pharmacists some questions about my birth control as I had switched to a new medication. I walk over to the consultation window, pills in hand, and some man arrives at the pick-up window, which is right next to it. 

Because at least one mention of menstruation is necessary to discussions about the pill, I unashamedly started to talk to the female pharmacist who was no more uncomfortable than I in getting my questions answered.

However, the man at the window seemed offended by my concerns about my feminine health, saying as an aside to the person behind him that “there is a time and a place for that gutter talk”.

NO FUCKING SHIT, MISTER. THIS IS THE FUCKING PLACE. I thought to myself, mortified not because of the conversation but because this man thought he ought to shame me for this. I exchange a look with the pharmacist, who seems to be having the same thought. Raising her voice slightly above what was considered necessary in a quiet CVS, she pressed for more details on my period, which I happily obliged to supply. And I am POSITIVE the woman assisting him took her damn time just so he would be subjected to imagery about consistency, flow, and duration of my last three periods.

Menstruation is not a dirty word and I will BE DAMNED if a man wants to police it, especially when IT DIRECTLY CONCERNS MY HEALTH, because it makes him feel uncomfortable. I can’t help having a period, but you can help being an ignorant son of a bitch.

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Ireland is the only country in Europe without legal accessible abortion. Now a woman has been sentenced to jail for self-induced abortion

Two years ago a 21-year-old woman used drugs she bought on the internet to self-induce an abortion when she couldn’t get one legally. Her roommates turned her in. Here’s what happened (are you listening, Donald Trump fans?)

Gifs: VICE News

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Meet the black woman who will run from NYC to DC to raise money for Planned Parenthood

  • The Republicans’ plan to defund Planned Parenthood along with repealing the Affordable Care Act won’t come without a fight — or a long, frigid run.
  • Alison Mariella Désir is a New York City-based running coach and founder of the Harlem Run running group. 
  • On Jan. 16, she’s teaming up with at least three other women to run 240 miles over five days from New York City to Washington, D.C., to raise money for Planned Parenthood. 
  • Just so it’s clear: That’s the equivalent of running two New York City marathons each day.
  • Désir hopes to raise $44k to support Planned Parenthood, an amount that honors the 44th president, Planned Parenthood ally Barack Obama. 
  • Less than a week out from the start of the run, she’s already brought in close to $30,000, according to her GoFundMe page.  Read more

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The abortion rate in the United States fell to its lowest level since the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide, a new report finds.

The report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports legalized abortion, puts the rate at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (ages 15-44) in 2014. That’s the lowest recorded rate since the Roe decision in 1973. The abortion rate has been declining for decades – down from a peak of 29.3 in 1980 and 1981.

The report also finds that in 2013, the total number of abortions nationwide fell below 1 million for the first time since the mid-1970s. In 2014 – the most recent year with data available – the number fell a bit more, to 926,200. The overall number had peaked at more than 1.6 million abortions in 1990, according to Guttmacher.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the longstanding controversy around abortion policy, the meaning of the report is somewhat in dispute.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said efforts to help women get better access to contraception are paying off. She points in particular to recent improvements in the rate of unintended pregnancies, and a historically low teen pregnancy rate.

U.S. Abortion Rate Falls To Lowest Level Since Roe v. Wade

Graphic: Katie Park/NPR

Sheryl Sandberg takes a stand against Trump with a $1 million donation to Planned Parenthood

  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg — founding mother of “leaning in” and one of the most powerful women in business — is donating $1 million to Planned Parenthood.
  • “On behalf of the more-than-two-million patients who come to Planned Parenthood each year, we are so grateful to Sheryl Sandberg for her longstanding, and now increased, support for our health care,” Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood president, said Wednesday in a statement to CNN. Read more

What being pro choice really means

- wanting better sex Ed in schools
- easier/cheaper access to birth control
- better women’s health programs
- allowing women to decide what to do with their bodies, not the government
- making it easier for women to get permanent sterilization/reproductive health surgeries

Menstruation is hardly the stuff of poetry. In fact, in India, if periods are talked about at all, it’s in whispered code, and never with someone of the opposite gender.

But a group of medical students at the Calicut Medical College in the southern state of Kerala wanted to change all that. So in March, they launched a contest called Haiku, which encouraged students to submit short stories, poems and verse about menstruation, all under 140 characters. The idea was to get young people to speak more openly about periods.

“It’s a normal, biological thing, we shouldn’t be ashamed,” says James Paul, a student at the college who came up with the contest idea. Before going to medical school, he admitted that talking about menstruation made him feel shy. But his professors and textbooks helped him get comfortable with the topic.

Breaking The Taboo Of Talking About Periods

Illustration: Hanna Barczyk for NPR

Some women have been worried that they will lose insurance coverage for contraception under the Trump administration, but coverage for other women’s health benefits could also be at risk.

At or near the top of the list is guaranteed coverage of maternity services on the individual insurance market. Before the health law, it was unusual for plans purchased by individuals to cover prenatal care and childbirth. But the Affordable Care Act requires that maternity care be included as one of 10 essential health benefits.

In 2009, the year before the health law passed, just 13 percent of individual plans available to a 30-year-old woman living in a state capital offered maternity benefits, according to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center.

Women Could Pay More Than Men For Health Care Under Trump

Illustration: Malte Mueller/fStop/Getty Images

Women across the country are rushing to get IUDs. Or at least, they’re tweeting about rushing to get long-term birth control, according to a surge of messages on social media.

They’re concerned that the Trump administration might end Obamacare provisions that require insurers to cover intrauterine devices (IUDs) and other contraception, and cut funding for abortion and reproductive health overall. So women are looking for long-term solutions like IUDs: ones that will outlast a presidency. But they may have a bit more time than they think.

They’re not just talking about it on social media; they’re looking for more information, too. Google Trends showed a massive peak searches for “IUD” “birth control” and “Planned Parenthood” on Wednesday.

The online conversations have left a lot of women wondering how much longer their birth control will be available without copays, as is required under the Affordable Care Act. The short answer is that while memes say women should get their IUDs before Inauguration Day, things might not be quite so urgent. The wheels of government take time to turn, so no one will lose their coverage on Day 1 of the Trump administration.

But women are already acting.

Women Rush To Get Long-Acting Birth Control After Trump Wins

Illustration: Joy Ho/NPR