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This Week in Sex: New Research on Improving Intimacy, and a Kegel Counter That Vibrates

New research suggests that orgasms promote positive pillow talk.

This week, new research suggests that orgasms promote positive pillow talk and improve intimacy but alcohol has the opposite effect; a study finds that the new HIV-prevention drug Truvada may also reduce the risk of genital herpes; and a vibrator company introduced a Fitbit for your vagina.

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‘Born in the Wild’? The Problems With Lifetime’s New Reality Show

Born in the Wild will follow birthing women who eschew hospitals and doctors for babbling brooks and fields of wildflowers.

Women should be free to choose their childbirth experience, whether it be in a hospital or in the woods. But I fear that Born in the Wild will be a disingenuous attempt to suggest that modern medicine ruined childbirth.

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Stoking Fire: Doulas as ‘Birth Ambassadors’

From the cover of Birth Ambassadors: Doulas and the Re-Emergence of Woman-Supported Birth in America.

Birth Ambassadors: Doulas and the Re-Emergence of Woman-Supported Birth in America by Christine H. Morton and Elayne G. Clift is a detailed look at childbirth practices that zeroes in on the difficult and sometimes contradictory roles played by members of hospital labor-and-delivery teams.

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Stoking Fire: ‘Laboring,’ A Midwife’s Tale

Cover of Laboring: Stories of a New York City Hospital Midwife.

Laboring: Stories of a New York City Hospital Midwife provides an anecdotal look back at Ellen Cohen’s nearly three-decade-long tenure as a midwife. By turns, the book is heartbreaking and exhilarating.

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Research Shows Philadelphia Failing UN Maternal and Infant Health Goals

Increasing support for family policy among lawmakers is encouraging—but what about the commitment of the private sector?

Philadelphia’s dire performance can be attributed to the collision of two major factors: widespread, profound poverty and a sharp reduction in the number of hospitals providing maternity care.

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For Decades, Authorities Let Rogue Abortion Provider Harm Women, Despite Pleas From Legitimate Doctors

Dr. Steven Brigham legal documents

Since the early 1990s, public records show, Brigham’s patients have suffered emergency hysterectomies, severe bowel injuries, severed ureters, and sweeping lacerations to the uterus. Over a period of two decades, Brigham has been barred from practicing medicine in at least six states, sued by his landlords and business associates, and even served jail time for failing to pay taxes. And yet today, Brigham remains in control of a network of 15 abortion clinics in four states, and there appears little that most state authorities are able—or willing—to do about it.

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Just Have the Baby? A New Mom Reveals Why There Is No ‘Just,’ and Not Necessarily Any Justice Either

Linus Chart

Just have the baby? Only if you want to. Because no one else can take on any of the pain or risk, and it’s rare that you’ll be helped significantly with the costs—something I think anyone capable of becoming pregnant understands all too well and that forced pregnancy activists work very hard not to acknowledge.

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Why a 20-Week Abortion Ban Is Unthinkable: One Woman’s Near-Death Experience

A federal judge has declared part of Texas' abortion law to be unconstitutional, blocking a provision that requires abortion providers to secure admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of where they perform abortion procedures.

Childbearing is inherently dangerous, and it is time that the risks of pregnancy became a part of our national conversation about contraception and abortion.

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Savita’s Case Reveals Narrowness of “Catholic” Law in an Increasingly Borderless World

The plight of the Halappanavars indirectly highlights the narrowness of a “Catholic” law in an increasingly borderless world. The question now is whether the global valence of a woman’s death can inspire a national reckoning.

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The Death of Savita Halappanavar: A Tragedy Leading to Long Overdue Change?

Photo: The Guardian.

Hopefully, the tragedy of Savita will, at least, finally spur the Irish government to issue clearer guidelines that the life of the pregnant woman must be privileged over that of her fetus. But if the thousands demonstrating reflect changes already underway in Irish society—including a growing dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church’s influence—perhaps some day Savita Halappanavar will be remembered as the woman whose death was a turning point in the long struggle for the legalization of abortion in Ireland.

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