New Reality Check Video: Anti-Choice Stereotypes
You’ve heard them before. Abortion is "convenient" and "allows women to
shun motherhood." How about this one? The "abortion industry" uses
women to make money. These and other common anti-choice claims aimed at demonizing women and doctors are decoded and debunked in the latest addition to our Reality Check video series. And if you haven’t already you should take some time to check out the rest of our growing series of videos that help you separate the misinformation from the facts.
New Edition of Research for Sex Work Just Released
Research for Sex Work is an annual journal dedicated to publishing writing and research on the sex work industry and sex workers around the world. This 10th anniversary edition of the journal was edited by Melissa Ditmore, whose writing has appeared on this site several times. The blog Feminist Review has an excellent, thorough review of the new edition that will help you figure out where to start your reading.
In Depth Looks at Candidate’s Judicial Philosophies
The Supreme Court’s 2008-2009 term began yesterday and we have a series of posts previewing what is and is not on the docket and how this term might affect women, check it out here. And today the Wall Street Journal devotes a column to exploring John McCain’s and Barack Obama’s history of federal judiciary appointments, statements, speeches and confirmation votes all of which add up to a description of their respective judicial philosophies. The articles even offer a list of possible candidates for the nation’s top court.
Supreme Court Again Rejects Abortion Poster Case
For the third time the Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal by the American Coalition of Life Activists "to undo a multimillion-dollar verdict for their use of ‘wanted’ posters to identify abortion clinic doctors."
The justices did not comment Monday in turning down a dozen
individuals and two groups that oppose abortion rights. The court
turned down similar appeals in 2003 and 2006.
Four physicians and
abortion clinics sued in 1995 after the activists released a Wild
West-style poster that named a dozen abortion doctors underneath the
headline, "Wanted." A related Web site, titled the "Nuremberg Files,"
declared the doctors guilty of crimes against humanity, and listed
their addresses and telephone numbers.
In 1999, a jury awarded
the doctors and clinics more than $100 million under racketeering laws
and a 1994 federal law that makes it illegal to incite violence against
abortion doctors. Courts reduced the judgment to more than $16 million.
The activists say the verdict violated their free speech rights under the Constitution.
Doctors Walk Fine Line on Teen Pregnancy
Dr. Victoria Rogers McEvoy, chief of pediatrics of the Mass. General West Medical Group and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, writes in the Boston Globe about the challenges doctors face dealing with the touchy subject of sexuality issues with teenagers but underscores the importance for teenagers to be able to develop a trusting relationship with their doctor:
So how do pediatricians handle this challenge? There is no set
script. Each physician brings his or her own set of values, training,
and religious principles to practice, and each has a different set of
priorities for the 15 or 20 minutes of an adolescent visit.
one thing is important: When it comes to sexuality and a myriad of
other transitional health issues, developing teens must see their
pediatrician as their personal doctor – not their mother’s or father’s.
In addition to doctor-patient trust being important to the health of teenager, so that young patients feel comfortable telling their doctors the full truth about their sexual activity, Dr. McEvoy also notes that it is imperative that doctors help to arm teens with the information they need to stay healthy:
The importance of these exam room conversations is underscored by
findings on the failure of the abstinence programs promoted in many
schools. A Mathematica Policy Research Inc. study funded by Congress
and released last year found that abstinence programs for older
elementary students and middle schools had no effect in reducing rates
of teen sexual activity – and that teens in the program were no more
likely to delay their first sexual experience than other teens. That
leaves parents and physicians to guide teens about the best, and
safest, approach to sexuality.
We need to face the facts – our
kids are having sex – and arm them with information. Adding to the
urgency of this crisis is the fact that girls are getting their periods
earlier; the average age now is 12.5 years – almost five months earlier
than in 1988, according to the National Health and Nutrition
Examination. And for some girls, of course, it arrives even earlier.
Just ask the mother of the 11-year-old girl who came to me for missed
periods, and whose pregnancy test came back positive.
New York City Public Advocate Seeks to Increase Availability of Emergency Contraception for Teens
Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum reports (Video) that teens are having a
harder time getting emergency contraception at city clinics this year
compared to last.
According to the report, only one third of Health
and Hospitals Corporation and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
clinics provided same-day emergency contraception.
Dr. Susan Blank of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said that the problem was an insufficient number of licensed dispensers to staff every location at all times.