The far-right controls John McCain’s VP selection, the GOP Platform, and now is trying to have it both ways on abortion as they use Sarah Palin to appeal to conservatives, and Cindy McCain to confuse pro-choice voters. They want to control you.
Clearly, men have unique sexual and reproductive health needs, but their needs are more often than not sidelined in reproductive health service provision. Men's limited participation in reproductive health affects not only the health of men themselves, but also their female partners, children and the general society.
On November 8, Planned Parenthood Federation of America senior staff attorney, Eve Gartner, stood before the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and presented oral arguments in our crucial case Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In her arguments, Eve urged the court to sustain the essential principle that no abortion restriction can endanger a woman’s health or risk a woman’s life. When she finished, she recorded a podcast on the steps of the Supreme Court to share her reactions and thoughts with you.
According to a new series in Lancet, a well-respected, peer-reviewed, medical journal:
"Every year, 340 million new patients acquire gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia, or trichomonas, more than 120 million couples have an unmet need for contraception, 80 million women have unintended pregnancies, and an estimated 19 million women undergo unsafe abortions; 70,000 of them die as a result."
There are cheap and effective ways to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, provide safe abortions, assist healthy pregnancies and delivery, and support children and families. With advances in medicine, access to health and education, why do these critical issues still threaten women's health? Politics. Clear and simple. Conservative ideology endangers women's health.
Yesterday, Lancet launched the new series on sexual and reproductive health worldwide. This study is based on the first ever global research of this kind – real data from researchers who took a fact-based approach to sexual and reproductive health and practices around the world.
Editor's note: Some of the links in this post are audio clips; click on them to listen to Allan Carlson in a new window.
[img_assist|nid=598|title=Special Series|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]Welcome back to RH Reality Check's series about the emerging war on contraception. In this episode, I will analyze Allan Carlson's presentation on "The Emptied Quiver: The Protestant Embrace of Contraception." As the daughter of two Lutheran ministers, I found Carlson's narrow take on Christianity, Martin Luther and the burden of families on clergy particularly interesting. His anti-feminist lecture examined Protestant roots against contraception and celibacy and their departure from that position, ending with an appeal for Protestants to return to their original opinion.
[img_assist|nid=598|title=Special Series|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]Two speakers at the "Contraception Is Not the Answer" conference used religion as their main argument against contraception. They used religion as a weapon to attempt to manipulate people into following their narrow beliefs. But it is important to remember that they do not represent the majority of conservatives, nor of Christians. This reality check is for the right and the left.
Editor's note: Some of the links in this post are audio clips; click on them to listen to Lionel Tiger in a new window.
[img_assist|nid=598|title=Special Series|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]At "Contraception Is Not the Answer", Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League introduced Lionel Tiger (his real name, I swear) as "an honest scientist" who was NOT coming from a religious conservative perspective. Every other speaker at the anti-contraception conference was from a conservative group or religious institution and obviously pushing an ideological agenda. But Lionel Tiger (and bears – oh my!) is the Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University. He was there because of his book "The Decline of Males", which Amazon describes as a counterpart to feminism ("masculinism") that chronicles the decline of men and the ascendancy of women – due to reproductive technology.
There has been a lot of news lately about declining birth rates and changes in population in various countries. Pro-population groups have used this opportunity to predict doom and gloom if people don’t start having more babies. Taking that approach, a demographer named Andrew Pollard discussed “Societal Suicide: The Profound Demographic Impact of Contraception” at the Contraception is Not the Answer conference. In contrast to the friendly, cheerful demeanor of the other speakers, Pollard sounded angry and vehement. He made some of the most outrageous statements I heard during the entire conference, which you can listen to in the audio clips at the end of this post.
Given the comprehensive assault on women’s reproductive rights currently unfolding in the U.S.—pharmacists refusing to fill women’s prescriptions for birth control pills; the FDA unconscionably dragging its feet on approving EC for over-the-counter use; governors from Louisiana, South Dakota, and Mississippi all recently signing or pledging to sign abortion bans; the new Supreme Court agreeing to review the multiply overturned 2003 federal abortion ban—sometimes it’s hard to know where the progressive response should begin.
Some longtime supporters of reproductive rights have responded by narrowing their agenda—suggesting, for example, that we rally under the common goal of reducing abortions as a means to expose right-wing extremity on the widely-supported issues of contraception and sex ed. Others, however, have decided that it’s high time to connect the dots, and instead of narrowing their agenda, they are gathering under the broad banner of reproductive justice.