California Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Ruling Underscores Need to Connect Policy to PracticeIt Shouldn’t Take a Chlamydia ‘Epidemic’ in Texas to Make Us Care About Teens’ Sexual HealthRape Kits: A Decade and A Billion Dollars Later, Why Can’t We Fix the Backlog?Admitting Privilege Laws: A Solution in Search of a Problem

California Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Ruling Underscores Need to Connect Policy to Practice

by Nicole Cushman

Video

Actor Matt McGorry on Why Being a Feminist ‘Benefits Everyone’

Orange Is the New Black star Matt McGorry discusses how feminism is important for everyone, not just women. [via Mic]

Honoring Young Mothers: ‘Let’s Fly Together’

As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s time to celebrate all the young mothers who work to build strong families in their communities. Enjoy this music video of Emily McLean’s “You Are.” [via Strong Families]

How Many Men Does It Take for a Woman to Get Birth Control?

Comedian Amy Schumer’s birth control sketch pokes fun of the many, many hoops women have to jump through just to get their own birth control.

Audio

Federal and State-Level Assaults on Abortion Rights

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On this episode of Reality Cast, Kathryn Joyce explains the fight over Marshallese adoptions in Arkansas. Also, host Amanda Marcotte discusses a proposed federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks and state-level assaults on reproductive rights.

In Texas, a Chlamydia Outbreak and Fight Over Abortion Care Insurance Coverage

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On this episode of Reality Cast, Heather Boonstra from Guttmacher explains how public schools could do more to help students get contraception. Texas bans insurance coverage of abortion, and a West Texas school has an alarmingly high chlamydia rate.

Hysteria Against Gay Marriage, Egregious Anti-Choice Legislation

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On this episode of Reality Cast, Jeff Teague from Planned Parenthood explains the rush of unnecessary, anti-choice bills in Tennessee, including a forced waiting period bill. Also, host Amanda Marcotte discusses the marriage equality cases at the Supreme Court and some of the more egregious anti-choice laws being passed this session.

News
The Every Child Deserves a Family Act seeks to fix the inconsistent patchwork of state laws on same-sex couples who want to adopt or foster a child.

The Every Child Deserves a Family Act seeks to fix the inconsistent patchwork of state laws on same-sex couples who want to adopt or foster a child.

State Sen. Lee Bright (R) attempted to filibuster the bill because he claimed the amendments were too lenient on pregnant people.

State Sen. Lee Bright (R) attempted to filibuster the bill because he claimed the amendments were too lenient on pregnant people.

Aetna, one of the largest insurance companies in Missouri, agreed to pay $4.5 million in fines for violations of state law that include paying for elective abortions and failing to cover certain autism benefits.

Aetna, one of the largest insurance companies in Missouri, agreed to pay $4.5 million in fines for violations of state law that include paying for elective abortions and failing to cover certain autism benefits.

Baltimore's water shutoff crackdown focuses on households, while businesses, government offices, and nonprofits accounted for the vast majority of the unpaid water fees.

Baltimore’s water shutoff crackdown focuses on households, while businesses, government offices, and nonprofits accounted for the vast majority of the unpaid water fees.

The much-ballyhooed bipartisan bill has provisions that alarm civil liberties and victims' advocates.

The much-ballyhooed bipartisan bill has provisions that alarm civil liberties and victims’ advocates.

The governor's executive action is in response to the failure of the GOP-majority state legislature to pass the so-called Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act, which would codify discrimination of LGBTQ people by those who oppose marriage equality.

The governor’s executive action is in response to the failure of the GOP-majority state legislature to pass the so-called Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act, which would codify discrimination of LGBTQ people by those who oppose marriage equality.

Los Angeles, the country’s second most populated city, will see its minimum wage increase to $15 by 2020 after the city council voted Tuesday for the wage hike, marking a major win for labor groups and working people who have seen the cost of living rocket past their hourly pay.

Los Angeles, the country’s second most populated city, will see its minimum wage increase to $15 by 2020 after the city council voted Tuesday for the wage hike, marking a major win for labor groups and working people who have seen the cost of living rocket past their hourly pay.

The decision released Tuesday is a strong endorsement of the Obama administration's accommodation process for religiously affiliated nonprofits that object to providing contraception in health-care plans.

The decision released Tuesday is a strong endorsement of the Obama administration’s accommodation process for religiously affiliated nonprofits that object to providing contraception in health-care plans.

Human Rights Watch released a report on the horrors of retaliation as the United Nations urged the United States to do more to prevent military sexual assault.

Human Rights Watch released a report on the horrors of retaliation as the United Nations urged the United States to do more to prevent military sexual assault.

A new survey found people incorrectly believe that miscarriages can be caused by stress, heavy lifting, using contraception, or even having an argument.

A new survey found people incorrectly believe that miscarriages can be caused by stress, heavy lifting, using contraception, or even having an argument.

Republicans in the Maine legislature are pushing forward a TRAP bill that would task the state Department of Health and Human Services with creating new licensing requirements targeting abortion clinics across the state.

Republicans in the Maine legislature are pushing forward a TRAP bill that would task the state Department of Health and Human Services with creating new licensing requirements targeting abortion clinics across the state.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam speaking at an event in April.

Tennessee joins 26 states that require waiting periods prior to having an abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Republicans want abortion providers to assume every patient is underage unless the patient can present an unspecified "valid governmental ID," which could end legal abortion care for undocumented Texans.

Republicans want abortion providers to assume every patient is underage unless the patient can present an unspecified “valid governmental ID,” which could end legal abortion care for undocumented Texans.

While anti-choice legislation was supposedly not a top priority for lawmakers, the inability to pass any anti-choice proposals might be surprising given Republican majorities of 116-44 in the house and 25-9 in the senate.

While anti-choice legislation was supposedly not a top priority for lawmakers, the inability to pass any anti-choice proposals might be surprising given Republican majorities of 116-44 in the house and 25-9 in the senate.

Marylanders will soon know the extent of the rape kit backlog in their state—a first step in trimming the backlog—under a new law signed in April by GOP Gov. Larry Hogan.

Marylanders will soon know the extent of the rape kit backlog in their state—a first step in trimming the backlog—under a new law signed in April by GOP Gov. Larry Hogan.

The fight to open a Planned Parenthood health-care clinic in El Centro, California, shows that national anti-choice groups are intent on rolling back reproductive health care gains in even the most progressive parts of the country.

The fight to open a Planned Parenthood health-care clinic in El Centro, California, shows that national anti-choice groups are intent on rolling back reproductive health care gains in even the most progressive parts of the country.

The burden of TRAP regulations in Virginia was lightened in early May, when Attorney General Mark Herring clarified that existing clinics can be grandfathered into the law's architectural component. Still, challenges persist.

The burden of TRAP regulations in Virginia was lightened in early May, when Attorney General Mark Herring clarified that existing clinics can be grandfathered into the law’s architectural component. Still, challenges persist.

South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright, an ardent anti-choice Republican, filibustered a bill Thursday to ban abortion 20 weeks post-fertilization. The measure, he said, is too lenient because it included exceptions for rape, incest, and fetal anomaly.

South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright, an ardent anti-choice Republican, filibustered a bill Thursday to ban abortion 20 weeks post-fertilization. The measure, he said, is too lenient because it included exceptions for rape, incest, and fetal anomaly.

Roundups
This week, a survey shows many women are not taking precautions against STDs, Men's Health determines the "sex-happiest" cities, and a Dutch designer designs a sex toy to hold human ashes.

This week, a survey shows many women are not taking precautions against STDs, Men’s Health determines the “sex-happiest” cities, and a Dutch designer designs a sex toy to hold human ashes.

This week, research suggests the keys to more and/or better sex may be different for some men and women.

This week, research suggests the keys to more and/or better sex may be different for some men and women.

According to estimates released last month from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, sex toy injuries have more than doubled in recent years.

This week, we examine a rise in sex toy injuries, the careful marketing sex toy retailers in India must employ to dodge the country’s restrictive laws, and the “wankband,” which harnesses the power of masturbation to create energy.

Commentary
Josh Duggar resigned his position as executive director of the Family Research Council today after reports surfaced that as a young teen he had fondled the breasts and genitals of several girls, including his own sisters, over an unknown period of time beginning in at least 2002.

Josh Duggar resigned his position as executive director of the Family Research Council today after reports surfaced that as a young teen he had fondled the breasts and genitals of several girls, including his own sisters, over an unknown period of time beginning in at least 2002.

A recent Scandal episode highlighted a few barriers when attempting to seek an abortion while deployed, but what’s a service member to do when she doesn’t have Olivia Pope’s help navigating the system?

A recent Scandal episode highlighted a few barriers when attempting to seek an abortion while deployed, but what’s a service member to do when she doesn’t have Olivia Pope’s help navigating the system?

If HB 3994 passes through the senate, Texas’ parental consent law will be even stricter than it is already, forcing minors who cannot obtain permission to navigate a slew of complicated, humiliating, and sometimes impossible hurdles to receive reproductive health care.

If HB 3994 passes through the senate, Texas’ parental consent law will be even stricter than it is already, forcing minors who cannot obtain permission to navigate a slew of complicated, humiliating, and sometimes impossible hurdles to receive reproductive health care.

There are ways in which we can support survivors of trafficking and address the systemic challenges that those vulnerable to trafficking face. None of those tactics require a camera crew and a viewing audience.

There are ways in which we can support survivors of trafficking and address the systemic challenges that those vulnerable to it face. None of those tactics require a camera crew and a viewing audience.

Alabama legislators have pushed forward a bill that will make reproductive care harder to access while perpetuating erroneous and harmful stereotypes about providers.

Alabama legislators have pushed forward a bill that will make reproductive care harder to access while perpetuating erroneous and harmful stereotypes about providers.

When cases of parents killing or abusing disabled children hit the media, it’s common to see these parents treated sympathetically. Reports typically discuss how they were “pushed to the breaking point” or “under too much stress,” dehumanizing the victims or seeming to forget them altogether.

When cases of parents killing or abusing disabled children hit the media, it’s common to see these parents treated sympathetically. Reports typically discuss how they were “pushed to the breaking point” or “under too much stress,” dehumanizing the victims or seeming to forget them altogether.

I can't help but feel frustrated that no matter what deals our progressive lawmakers strike, someone's getting thrown under the bus—and, so often, that someone is a Texan who has the least political power, the fewest economic resources, the lowest level of socio-cultural capital.

I can’t help but feel frustrated that no matter what deals our progressive lawmakers strike, someone’s getting thrown under the bus—and, so often, that someone is a Texan who has the least political power, the fewest economic resources, the lowest level of socio-cultural capital.

When a low-income mother is able to plan her pregnancies, she is much more likely to be able to provide for her baby. When she cannot get an abortion, if that is her choice, she is three times more likely to descend into and remain in poverty.

When a low-income mother is able to plan her pregnancies, she is much more likely to be able to provide for her baby. When she cannot get an abortion, if that is her choice, she is three times more likely to descend into and remain in poverty.

At a time when the nation is facing numerous crises, including crumbling and increasingly dangerous infrastructure, the GOP leadership in Congress is deregulating and defunding services and agencies that save people's lives, while obsessing about abortion bans. And for this they are called "pro-life."

At a time when the nation is facing numerous crises, including crumbling and increasingly dangerous infrastructure, the GOP leadership in Congress is deregulating and defunding services and agencies that save people’s lives, while obsessing about abortion bans. And for this they are called “pro-life.”

ABLC Blog
To certain people in this country, it seems that any gathering of Black people is comprised of thugs. A barbecue? A bunch of thugs eating ribs. A church picnic? Just a bunch of thugs in fancy hats. A hip-hop show? A bunch of thugs listening to a bunch of other thugs.

To certain people in this country, it seems that any gathering of Black people is comprised of thugs. A barbecue? A bunch of thugs eating ribs. A church picnic? Just a bunch of thugs in fancy hats. A hip-hop show? A bunch of thugs listening to a bunch of other thugs.

ATM, Money, Machine

Gov. Brownback signed a law on Thursday that prohibits people who rely on government assistance to make ends meet from using the money in the way it was intended. It treats poor people like they’re stupid or wasteful, and siphons government funds from them and diverts it into banks’ coffers.

Vijay Chokal-Ingam

In 1998, Mindy Kaling’s brother Vijay Chokal-Ingam posed as a Black man to get into medical school in an attempt to prove that affirmative action in the admissions process is “legalized racism.” In reality, his little “experiment” proves nothing apart from the fact that Chokal-Ingam is full of it.

Analysis
The Roberts Court will consider stepping into the fight over Mississippi's admitting privileges requirement for abortion providers in a case that could make it harder for abortion rights advocates to combat restrictions based in junk science.

The Roberts Court will consider stepping into the fight over Mississippi’s admitting privileges requirement for abortion providers in a case that could make it harder for pro-choice advocates to combat restrictions based in junk science.

In what advocates are calling an historic ruling, a judge in Fresno County, California, ruled last week that a lawsuit against the Clovis Unified School District’s abstinence-focused sex education program was justified because it was out of compliance with the state’s law.

In what advocates are calling an historic ruling, a judge in Fresno County, California, ruled last week that a lawsuit against the Clovis Unified School District’s abstinence-focused sex education program was justified because it was out of compliance with the state’s law.

With his announcement that he would sign a 20-week abortion ban should one reach his desk, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker  joins a slate of fervently anti-choice Republican presidential candidates who support a flatly unconstitutional law.

With his announcement that he would sign a 20-week abortion ban should one reach his desk, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker joins a slate of fervently anti-choice Republican presidential candidates who support a flatly unconstitutional law.

Investigations
A three-month investigation by RH Reality Check has revealed that the agency charged with overseeing this effort has been unable to answer these rudimentary questions, leaving advocates at a loss to explain why so little progress has been made on the backlog even while the Obama administration has identified it as a top priority for sexual justice.

A three-month investigation by RH Reality Check has revealed that the agency charged with overseeing this effort has been unable to answer these rudimentary questions, leaving advocates at a loss to explain why so little progress has been made on the backlog even while the Obama administration has identified it as a top priority for sexual justice.

Cookie Concepcion is a trans male activist and member of Justice Now, who is currently serving time at the Central California Women's Facility.

Trans prisoners continue to be housed in facilities with the opposite gender, resulting in discrimination, trauma, and rape.

Dennis Prager

Conservative radio host Dennis Prager’s eponymous website seeks to insert religious and political right-wing propaganda directly into schools, and he has the generous backing of two of the richest men in the United States—Dan and Farris Wilks.

Q & A
Yamani Hernandez recently chatted with RH Reality Check about her work to build a broad human rights movement that lives up to its inclusive values, her unconventional professional trajectory, and the people who inspired and stoked her activism.

Yamani Hernandez recently chatted with RH Reality Check about her work to build a broad human rights movement that lives up to its inclusive values, her unconventional professional trajectory, and the people who inspired and stoked her activism.

Dr. Chastine fights back against anti-choice threats and intimidation by providing the best possible care to her patients, who often travel long distances as additional political and economic hurdles are put in their way.

Dr. Chastine fights back against anti-choice threats and intimidation by providing the best possible care to her patients, who often travel long distances as additional political and economic hurdles are put in their way.

Gunn, who spoke at a Planned Parenthood South Texas luncheon on Thursday, had equally insightful things to say about bridging the empathy gap, and the top puppy looks for spring.

Gunn, who spoke at a Planned Parenthood South Texas luncheon on Thursday, had equally insightful things to say about bridging the empathy gap, and the top puppy looks for spring.