I was doing my Latin homework…for about five minutes. Then my roommate broke my concentration and between that point and this one I fell into a deep pit of despair. I am going to fill the emptiness with more “Bet Me.”
A group of women has formed a new political action committee to recruit and support candidates to defeat elected officials who back the ultrasound and so-called personhood bills.
Women’s Strike Force, which boasts several former elected officials, formed after Virginia spent last week in national headlines for its attempt to require women to undergo mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds before an abortion.
“As a former member of the General Assembly and Virginia’s first woman in Congress, I fought for women’s rights in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s,” Leslie Byrne said in a statement. “We must move the commonwealth and the nation forward, not backslide to denying women rights.”
This is amazing and I’m pleased to see people reacting in this way.
[NB: It’s more than just cis women’s rights that are backsliding. Also, I keep saying this, but this is not simply the burden of ladies. I appreciate and am pleased that (cis) women are leading the charge but this should really be everyone’s concern.]
Glenmark Generics is issuing a nationwide recall of seven lots of birth control pills. The pills are labeled “norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets.”
Because of a packaging error, some of the pills were placed in the wrong order within the packs, according to a statement from the Food and Drug Administration. The packs contain three types of pills with varying levels of hormones, designed to be taken at different times during a woman’s cycle.
The pills were rotated 180 degrees within the pack, so the weekly tablet orientation is reversed, and the lot number and expiration date are visible only on the outer pouch, according to the FDA. Any pack for which the lot number and expiry date is not visible is subject to recall.
Because of this error, the daily regimen for these oral contraceptives may be incorrect, leaving women without adequate contraception, and at risk for unintended pregnancy.
These packaging defects do not pose any immediate health risks, but consumers whose pills are affected should begin using a non-hormonal form of contraception immediately, the FDA said. Patients who have the products (lot numbers are provided below) should notify their physician and return the product to the pharmacy.
Lot numbers of affected packs are as follows: 04110101, 04110106, 04110107, 04110114, 04110124, 04110129 and 04110134. The packs were distributed nationwide between Sept. 21 and Dec. 30, 2011. The complete name of the product is norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP, 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215 mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg (Generic).
The error was discovered when a consumer complained she received a pack in which the tablets were packaged in reverse order, the FDA said.
In the correct packaging configuration, the top row contains seven white to off-white tablets, and the bottom row contains seven inactive, light green tablets in bottom row ( correctly packaged packs are pictured here ).
Last month, Pfizer recalled 28 lots of generic birth control pills labeled Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets, when the company found some packs contained an inexact count of inert or active ingredient tablets, and tablets out of sequence.
“A Georgetown co-ed told Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s hearing that the women in her law school program are having so much sex that they’re going broke, so you and I should pay for their birth control,” whines a grown man who doesn’t want to pay for icky lady things.
He goes on to slut-shame every single woman at Georgetown, without mentioning the idea that maybe some men are involved with all this premarital intercourse until about the last paragraph.
Then he posits than women use the $1,000 a year they spend on birth control to buy condoms from CVS.com. (Why? I don’t know. Even if insurers covered birth control, that wouldn’t include condoms.) So by his logic, if condoms on *one web site* are a dollar each, and condoms are apparently the only form of birth control he is familiar with, women are having sex three times a day. Seriously, that’s his conclusion: women in law school are mega-sluts who must barely have time to crack a book in between the thrice-daily sexytimes.
Never mind that:
No one is arguing that insurers should be forced to cover condoms (though I’m certainly not opposed to that idea)
Other forms of birth control exist besides condoms
Hormonal birth control only really works if you take it every month, even when you aren’t having sex, so you still incur birth control costs even if you’re just taking the pill on the off-chance of having a one-night stand at some point
And as always, dear readers, don’t read the comments. I SAID DON’T READ THEM. Oh, you read them, didn’t you? Fine. Your punishment is that YOU have to make a comment too, telling those commenters and this asshole that yes, your insurance that you pay the premium for should cover the medications that you take, including the ones that allow you to have non-procreative sex.
“In failing to implement a living wage for its lowest paid employees, the University of Virginia has also failed to uphold the moral standards to which it holds its students. We are engaging in this hunger strike to call attention to the administration’s moral hypocrisy and to finally produce results in the form of a Living Wage. Although I am exhausted, hungry, dry-mouthed, and emotionally taxed, I believe it is my responsibility as a member of the University community, and even more as a member of the human race, to stand up and speak for those whose voices have been silenced and whose livelihoods are marginalized by the policies of the current University administration.”—
Williams is one of 18 Virginia students participating in a hunger strike — now more than a week long — to protest the poor wages paid to many of the university’s contracted service employees.
Williams decried the pay disparity between “hundreds of contract workers who may make as little as $7.25/hour” and the university’s top administrators. According to the essay, six of the state’s 10 highest-paid employees are administrators at Virginia. Williams also told the story of one employee who, despite working 40 hours a week, couldn’t afford to pay rent or utility bills.
“We have taken every conventional route towards this goal, garnered wide student, faculty and community support – yet our pleas have been consistently ignored and workers are still paid unjust wages,” Williams wrote. Perhaps the hunger strike and the nationalnotoriety it has received is changing that, though. According to local news reports, University of Virginia president Teresa Sullivan plans to meet with the strikers today.
I’ve been seeing lots of republican campaign ads on television (because I live in Michigan and the Republican Primary is today) and there is one for Rick Santorum where he’s listing all of Romney’s flaws one of which is “supports women’s right to choose.”
I’m not sure who is making these ads but it seemed odd to me that they would choose those words “supports women’s right to choose” instead of, you know, something like “is against the slaying of Innocent babies” or whatever because when I see those words in his ads this is what I’m actually seeing: “SUPPORTS A WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CONTROL HER BODY.” Then I think of how many women see these ads and vote and wonder if any of them look at that and go “yes, that is what I want, fewer rights, I will definitely be voting for Santorum.” I know some women are anti-choice but it just struck me as odd that he chose to use language that will actually appeal to women and pro-choice voters in Romney’s favor…because even though I dislike all the republican candidates enormously, sitting there I was kind of like, yeah Go Romney! And then I was like… WHAT JUST HAPPENED.
Woman:I got pregnant because I didn't have birth control and I don't want the fetus. Can I have an abortion?
Woman:I gave birth to my child but since I wasn't expecting it, I can't afford daycare. Can I have help paying for it?
Woman:Well, why can't I have birth control?
Government:Because. Sex isn't for recreation. It's for procreation.
Woman:But it can help regulate my period and benefit me in other ways.
Man:For no reason other than for recreational sex, may I have birth control?
Government:Do you have a penis?
Man:YES, YES I DO!!
Government:WELL HOWDY, VALID CITIZEN. You can buy condoms by the dozens. Here, here's a pack of special condom for "His Pleasure." Oooh, these come in different colours and flavours. Here, try these. They have ribs on them. And this one glows in the dark!! LOL OMG DICK LIGHTSABER!!
Government:But seriously, you're a man. You can do what ever you want.
Government:Shut up, you sinning, freeloading hussy.
Ron Paul is racist, or at the very least, allowed racist literature to be published under his name. But to me, this isn’t the worst part about Paul as a candidate - His stances on civil liberties and economic issues when it comes to state’s rights are scary. And his supporters who type in all caps and hail him as christ reborn are even worse because they believe that his ‘policy ideas’ could actually help our country.
Anyone considering Paul as a candidate should certainly take into account his views on race, gender and the LGBT community (which are all awful) but they should also take into account the large amount of other issues in which he is not only incredibly wrong, but where his policy prescriptions would make things worse. Some Occupy Wall Street supporters are Paul supporters, but Paul is associated with the 1 percent, despite what his supporters yell about all over the internet. He says some things that sound good, but his voting record on issues related to corporations and the rest of us is not so good—-
Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad is 13.40 percent progressive
Corporate Subsidies 31.18 percent
Education, Humanities, & the Arts 13.19 percent
Environment 11.35 percent
Fair Taxation 9.01 percent
Government Checks on Corporate Power 15.16 percent
Health Care 12.62 percent
Housing 6.10 percent
Labor Rights 13.51 percent
Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful 15.88 percent
Even on the issues he’s supposed to be good on, his record is lackluster:
Human Rights & Civil Liberties 33.66 percent progressive
Justice for All: Civil and Criminal 30.71 percent
War & Peace 47.92 percent
Even when it comes to foreign policy, Paul still votes the wrong way more than half the time. He does have a better record than most Republicans on these issues, but even the most conservative of Democrats do better than Paul on almost every issue.
To get a full handle on how bad Paul’s record and positions are, here is a quick rundown of his most offensive positions, those that would be the most damaging to the country.
Anyone that still thinks that a progressive vote for Paul is a legitimate vote has their head on sideways. Anyone that thinks that Paul “understands the Constitution” and is trying so hard to preserve it probably hasn’t even read the Constitution, or they are just plain confused.
“And yet a woman’s weight is seen by American culture as an outward manifestation of her personal worth. If she is overweight (a tricky term that I hate – over what weight?), she has failed as a woman. If she is overweight and not actively seen to be doing something about it (exercising for sixty-eight percent of her waking hours, eating three pieces of lettuce and a tomato for every meal, going to a nutritionist, going to a gym, going to a personal trainer, hiring a personal chef, getting costly and dangerous surgeries to butcher the shape of her stomach, publicly demeaning herself and her body so that the world knows she understands it’s not good enough), she has failed as a woman. If she is overweight and feels like eating a hamburger instead of a salad one day, she has failed as a woman.”—
North Carolina’s ultrasound law, passed last year over the governor’s veto, didn’t provoke the same level of controversy. It doesn’t include the words “trans-vaginal probe,” either. But it effectively requires the procedure for many, if not most, abortions.
The new law requires an ultrasound before any abortion procedure. The woman has to be shown the image of the fetus, have the image described to her, and be offered the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat.
In early pregnancy—up until about 8 weeks—the only way a doctor can comply with those requirements is by using a trans-vaginal sonogram probe.
Rex Healthcare’s Rhonda Thomas is president of the NC Ultrasound Society. She says abdominal ultrasounds can’t see much before the two-month mark, especially if the patient has had prior pregnancies or is overweight.
“They’re just more sensitive,” Thomas said of trans-vaginal scans. ”That’s the test of choice.”
A trans-vaginal sonogram is also the only way to hear a fetal heartbeat in early pregnancy. Thomas says the heartbeat isn’t audible via stethoscope until about 10 weeks.
Planned Parenthood of Central NC spokeswoman Paige Johnson said her group lobbied hard against other parts of the bill, but didn’t make a big issue of the probe. That’s because her group uses them, too.
Johnson says Planned Parenthood requires an ultrasound before every abortion to “date” the pregnancy. NC law allows abortion only within the first 20 weeks, except when the mother’s life or health is threatened.
If it’s early in the pregnancy, Johnson says, the clinic’s doctors use a trans-vaginal probe for the scan. And most cases are early: she says 90 percent of abortions are performed within the first 12 weeks.
“Before the law, if a woman didn’t want to undergo the scan, she could go elsewhere,” Johnson said. “Now she doesn’t have that choice.”
A federal judge has temporarily stayed the part of NC’s law that requires the doctor to describe the ultrasound image to the patient. But the requirement for the ultrasound itself is law, as are the waiting period and the mandate that doctors counsel women seeking abortion about adoption services and the availability of food stamps.
This week my son turned blue, and for 30 terrifying seconds, stopped breathing. Called an “apnea seizure,” this is one stage in the progression of Tay-Sachs, the genetic disease Ronan was born with and will die of, but not before he suffers from these and other kinds of seizures and is finally plunged into a completely vegetative state. Nearly two years old, he is already blind, paralyzed, and increasingly nonresponsive. I expect his death to happen this year, and this week’s seizure only highlighted the fact that it could happen at any moment—while I’m at work, at the hair salon, at the grocery store. I love my son more than any person in the world and his life is of utmost value to me. I don’t regret a single minute of this parenting journey, even though I wake up every morning with my heart breaking, feeling the impending dread of his imminent death. This is one set of absolute truths.
Here’s another: If I had known Ronan had Tay-Sachs (I met with two genetic counselors and had every standard prenatal test available to me, including the one for Tay-Sachs, which did not detect my rare mutation, and therefore I waived the test at my CVS procedure), I would have found out what the disease meant for my then unborn child; I would have talked to parents who are raising (and burying) children with this disease, and then I would have had an abortion. Without question and without regret, although this would have been a different kind of loss to mourn and would by no means have been a cavalier or uncomplicated, heartless decision. I’m so grateful that Ronan is my child. I also wish he’d never been born; no person should suffer in this way—daily seizures, blindness, lack of movement, inability to swallow, a devastated brain—with no hope for a cure. Both of these statements are categorically true; neither one is mutually exclusive.
In response to Rick Santorum’s recent opposition to prenatal testing, Emily Rapp offers an unflinching, nuanced perspective on prenatal testing and pregnancy decisions. This article will probably make you uncomfortable, but that is the reality of life and death. It isn’t black and white, good or bad, easy or difficult, right or wrong. When does the consideration of suffering and the quality of life begin to take precedence over our human determination to triumph over death? Can death be an act of love and compassion? Do we trust pregnant people to know what’s best for them and their children?
I’ve long wondered if this - that women don’t recognize the symptoms of a heart attack in themselves, and consequently don’t get the fast care that is vital for heart attack survival - is the reason heart disease is the #1 killer in women. Women statistically take better care of themselves health-wise, than men do. Women see doctors more frequently and are more likely to follow those doctors’ recommendations closely. Why would both men and women have the same most common cause of death?
Heart attack symptoms in men are well known. We all know what it means when a guy on TV clutches his chest or left arm and falls over. This scene is often followed by a rush to the emergency room in an ambulance, and a shirtless guy being shocked back to sinus rhythm with the electric paddles. “CLEAR!” Right? Everyone knows that’s what a heart attack looks like. Because of TV.
Except you can’t show a topless woman on TV - and you can’t defibrillate a woman in a bra. So victims of heart attacks on TV are *always* male. Did you know that a woman having a heart attack is more likely to have back or jaw pain than chest or left arm pain? I didn’t - because I’ve never seen a woman having a heart attack. I’ve been trained in CPR and Advanced First Aid by the Red Cross over 15 times in my life, the videos and booklets always have a guy and say the same thing about clutching his chest and/or bicep.
And people laugh when I tell them women are still invisible in this world.
Things I did not know, but should.
“The study found that 42% of women who have heart attacks never experience the “classic heart attack symptom” of tightness or pain in the chest. Instead, they may develop pain in the back or jaw, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath.”
I remember reading about this earlier, this is important to know.
“Every time I read an article about conservatives being “pro- life” I am reminded of my brother who died of ALS at the age of 47. He spent the last 6 years of his life in nursing homes where the care, supervision and meals were abysmal. One of his former roommates was smoking a cigarette, fell asleep and burned to death because his diaper caught fire. Another roommate went home for the weekend to visit his mother and committed suicide in the garage of her home so that he wouldn’t have to return to the nursing home. I have to say that in all the years my brother was there I never once saw a group of conservatives out in front of the building shouting slogans about the sanctity of life and how all lives - no matter what age - are meaningful. I never once saw a group of evangelicals visiting with patients, pushing wheelchairs, or feeding the elderly residents. There were no Rick Santorums advocating on behalf of my brother who several years before had been a pro golfer and was still the father of two adorable young boys. When conservatives and evangelicals understand that ALL life really is sacred, including that of the elderly, the permanently disabled, the terminally ill, and the women and children who accidentally get bombed in the course of a war, then maybe I’ll listen to their opinions on contraceptives and/or abortion. For now, however, this is really just a politically heated argument about women’s reproductive rights and who gets to control those rights.”—The ‘Safe, Legal, Rare’ Illusion - NYTimes.com (via octobones)
DRUNKEN CUDDLES ALL AROUND. I DON’T HATE EVRRYONE TODAY. JUST MOST EVERYONE. I LOVE SOME PEOPLES. I WISH SOME OF THE SOME POEPLES WSERE CUDDLING WITH ME. IN MAH AWESOME BED. MY BED’S NAME IS FERNANDO. I LOVE HIM
I am a fat woman. Some days I am in love with my body. I relish the fact that my curves take up space in a culture where culture is constantly telling me that, as a woman, I should take up less. Some days I smile because the brownie I’m eating is my own little revolution, a show of resistance in a body that is soft and round and rejects a cultural definition of beauty that demands thinness. Some days I am just extremely thankful for all the things my body allows me to do.
Other days are different. Other days I look hopelessly into my closet because nothing seems to fit. Other days I stare at the stretch marks and bulges and want to cry because who could ever love something so ugly? Other days I don’t want to leave the house or can’t eat a meal without feeling an enormous, crushing amount of guilt because what right do I have to eat with a body like this?
There are good days and bad days. I think that most people probably have them. It’s a consequence of living in a society that is constantly shoving a certain ideal “normal” down our throats. I understand this and I also understand that we are also usually most critical of ourselves, that we can see beauty in other people that if it were reflected in us might be a source of pain or insecurity or dislike. However, it hurts me when I am sitting in a room full of thin women and they begin to talk about how much they need to lose weight, particularly when the women are my friends and it no longer feels like a safe space.
I am always aware when I am the biggest girl in the room. When I sit in a room full of women who easily weigh 50-60 pounds less than I do and they begin to talk about how fat they are or about how much they weigh or need to lose I cannot help thinking back on every compliment they ever paid me and wonder if they were lying. How can I trust them to tell me that I, in all my round, heavy glory, am beautiful when a few minutes later speak with they disgust about fat. Clearly they don’t find fat beautiful which has to mean that I, as a fat woman, cannot truly be beautiful to them. Sitting there it is like I and my fat cease to exist. I cannot participate in this conversation, I will never be thin, and in their unwillingness to see past fat, they are incapable of seeing me.
Now, I do not for a minute think any of my friends are being insincere when they tell me I look beautiful. What I do think is that they are not aware of how their self-criticisms are triggering every insecurity and doubt I’ve ever had about my body as well as making me remember every criticism and insult that has ever been directed at my body by doctors, peers, family, and random strangers on the street. I am reminded that I am fat and that society finds it unacceptable every time I watch television, go shopping, read a book, eat, or go out find myself pushed into the role of invisible, chubby side-kick.
I say all of this as someone who has an enormous amount of privilege as a white, cis, able-bodied woman and the point of this is not to tell anyone how to feel or what to say. It is much more a reflection on my own personal experiences, particularly lately since Spring Break is coming up, and is perhaps also a request for some consideration, be kind to yourself and be aware of what you’re saying because even when you’re talking about yourself you’re also really talking about everyone else in the room by enforcing certain ideals about what is “beautiful” or “normal”and sometimes what your enforcing has the ability to be extremely hurtful.