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    One-Third of U.S. Women Seeking Abortions Travel More Than 25 Miles to Access Services →

    This is unacceptable.

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #abortion  #women's health  #women's issues  #guttmacher institute 
    1812, 1912, or 2012: which was the year of the second highest number of new abortion restrictions?
I keep forgetting what century we live in.

    1812, 1912, or 2012: which was the year of the second highest number of new abortion restrictions?

    I keep forgetting what century we live in.

    — 1 year ago with 7 notes
    #abortion  #women's health  #healthcare  #pro-choice  #women's issues 
    The Politics Of Safety For Women →

    Trigger warning, but a moving piece on safety for women (especially women of color), street harassment, violence against women, and fear.

    — 2 years ago with 1 note
    #women's issues  #violence  #violence against women  #street harassment  #women of color 
    "I woke up this morning and my uterus was really heavy…and then I realized the religious right was sitting on it."
    Liz Chadderon at WIN’s Young Women of Achievement awards ceremony last night.
    — 2 years ago with 81 notes
    #women's issues  #prochoice  #antichoice  #uterus  #virginia  #probe  #religious right  #women's issues  #women's health 
    Mitt Romney’s birth control fake-out →

    Give Rick Santorum this much credit for influencing the debate: His open hostility to contraception has managed to reframe things such that in Saturday night’s debate, George Stephanopoulos took the unusual step of asking Mitt Romney if he thought states should be able to ban contraception. Romney responded first by playing dumb and hedging, then by not answering the question at all.

    “George, this is an unusual topic that you’re raising,” Romney responded, as if he didn’t know that Santorum’s re-stated opposition to Griswold put contraception policies back on the table. “States have the right to ban contraception? I can’t imagine that states would want to ban contraception. If I were a governor or a legislator in a state, I would totally oppose any effort to ban contraception.  So you’re asking — given the fact that there’s no state that wants to do so — you are asking could it constitutionally be done? We could ask our constitutionalist here,” at which point he punted to Ron Paul. (Paul, of course, is anti-choice and wanted to talk about the Patriot Act instead.)…

    — 2 years ago with 11 notes
    #mitt romney  #birth control  #contraception  #women's issues  #women's health  #reproductive rights 
    Plan to Widen Availability of Morning-After Pill Is Rejected →

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the Food and Drug Administration’s decision Wednesday that emergency contraceptives be sold freely over the counter, including to teenagers 16 years old and younger.

    The pill, called Plan B One-Step, has been available without a prescription to women 17 and older, but those 16 and younger have needed a prescription — and still will because of Ms. Sibelius’s decision. In some states, pharmacists can write the prescription on the spot for teenagers. But the restrictions have meant the pills were only dispensed from behind the counter — making them more difficult for everyone to get. The pill, if taken after unprotected sex, halves the risk of a pregnancy.

    Under the law, Ms. Sebelius has the authority to overrule the agency, but no health secretary has ever done so, according to an F.D.A. spokeswoman. Her decision on an emotional issue that touches on parental involvement in birth control for teenaged children is likely to have powerful political reverberations in a presidential election season.

    The pill’s maker, Teva Pharmaceuticals, had applied to make Plan B easily accessible to everyone. In a statement, the commissioner of the drug administration, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, wrote that all the studies and experts agreed that young women would benefit from having easy access to Plan B.

    The agency’s scientists, she wrote, “determined that the product was safe and effective in adolescent females, that adolescent females understood the product was not for routine use, and that the product would not protect them againstsexually transmitted disease.”

    ”Additionally, the data supported a finding that adolescent females could use Plan B One-Step properly without the intervention of a healthcare provider,” she wrote.

    After reviewing the scientists’ determination, Dr. Hamburg wrote that she agreed “that there is adequate and reasonable, well-supported and science-based evidence that Plan B One-Step is safe and effective and should be approved for nonprescription use for all females of child-bearing potential.”

    But on Wednesday morning, Ms. Sebelius sent Dr. Hamburg a note saying that she did not agree, so the agency was rejecting the application for the change.

    In a statement, Ms. Sebelius said that the drug’s manufacturer had failed to study whether girls as young as 11 years old could use Plan B safely. And since about 10 percent of girls are capable of bearing children as early as 11, those girls need to be studied as well, she wrote.

    “After careful consideration of the F.D.A. summary review, I have concluded that the data submitted by Teva do not conclusively establish that Plan B One-Step should be made available over the counter for all girls of reproductive age,” Ms. Sebelius wrote.

    The decision ensures that Plan B will continue to be far more important as a political issue than for public health. Though the pill has been found to be safe, experts said that wider availability would likely have little to no measurable effect on pregnancy and abortion rates.

    Even when young women are given free emergency contraceptives, they rarely take them after unprotected sex, studies have found. Women often miscalculate their menstrual cycle, or do not understand the risks of unprotected sex. As of now, half of all pregnancies are unplanned, more than 40 percent of children are born to unwed mothers, and 1.2 million abortions are performed every year involving one in every 50 women of reproductive age.

    Plan B contains 1.5 milligrams of a synthetic version of the female hormoneprogesterone that is found in lower doses in daily contraceptive pills. It should be taken as soon as possible after sex since it gradually loses effectiveness, which is why advocates have pushed for years to make it available on store shelves. The drug’s principle effect is to prevent ovulation, but it may also make the lining of the uterus less hospitable to a fertilized egg. This latter effect — shared by all hormonal and intrauterine contraceptives — makes it anathema to antiabortion activists. Plan B has no effect on established pregnancies, and it is not an abortion pill nor is it related to RU-486.

    Women who have unprotected intercourse have about 1 chance in 20 of becoming pregnant. Those who take Plan B within three days cut that risk to about 1 in 40.

    “Very few medications are this simple, convenient and safe,” said Dr. Kathleen Hill-Besinque, an assistant dean at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy.

    Jeanne Monahan of the Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group, said that making Plan B available to young women without a prescription would mean fewer chances that doctors would be able to save them from sexual exploitation, abuse and related diseases. “Most people would agree that more medical care and more attention by medical professionals for young people is a good thing,” she said.

    The American Medical Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have endorsed over-the-counter access to emergency contraception.

    Plan B was approved in 1999 as a prescription-only product, and it initially had few sales. In 2003, advocates filed an application for over-the-counter sales. An expert advisory committee recommended approval, and scientists within the Food and Drug Administration unanimously supported that recommendation. Their rationale was simple: women can decide on their own when they need to take it, the drug is effective and its risks are minimal — particularly compared with pregnancy. But in a highly unusual move, top agency officials rejected the application because, some said later, they feared being fired if they approved it.

    The agency delayed reconsideration for years despite promises by top Bush administration officials to do so. Then in 2006, the Bush administration allowed over-the-counter sales to women 18 and older but required a prescription for those 17 and younger.

    In 2009, the F.D.A. lowered the easy-access age limit by a year after a federal judge ruled that its decision had been driven by politics and not science. Wednesday’s announcement was expected to be the final step in an eight-year process to make Plan B easily accessible to all. Last year, the agency rapidly approved ella, another emergency contraceptive, for prescription use.

    Despite negligible effects on pregnancy and abortion rates, sales of emergency contraceptives rose to 4 million units last year, eight times higher than the 500,000 sold in 2004. Amy Niemann, a vice president of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the maker of Plan B, said that the company had hoped to sell the product in pharmacies, grocery stores and mass market outlets.

    “Sometimes women need emergency contraception when the pharmacy isn’t open,” Ms. Niemann said.

    — 2 years ago with 14 notes
    #fuming  #plan b  #reproductive rights  #women's health  #women's issues  #sex positive  #sex is not the enemy 
    'You Are the NOW of Now!' The Future of (Online) Feminism →

    In late February of this year, Lamar Outdoor Advertising unveiled a billboard on Sixth Ave and Watts in SoHo, not coincidentally right around the corner from a Planned Parenthood, featuring the picture of a young black girl and the words, “The most dangerous place for African Americans is in the Womb.” The ad was sponsored by the Texas anti-choice group Life Always. An editor at Feministing posted about the billboard on February 24, featuring an excerpt from an inspired statement by SisterSong and the Trust Black Women Partnership, along with the contact information for Lamar. Readers expressed their outrage, and the billboard was taken down the very same day.

    Despite countless examples like these, among a number of feminists, a false perception lingers that online feminist work is, at worst, navel-gazing and, at best, “slactivism.” In fact, feminist organizations that primarily take action online—ranging from blogs like Feministing, Racialicious, and the very young F-Bomb, to advocacy organizations like MomsRising and Hollaback—are thriving hubs of contemporary feminist action. The belief that online activism isn’t “real” or deserving of financial support isn’t just an insult to entrepreneurial bloggers and organizers; it’s creating a crisis in the feminist movement…

    While many online-native businesses, particularly sites providing media content, struggle to monetize, the models that do work are difficult to replicate on sites devoted to online feminist organizing. To the extent that advertising is a viable source of revenue for feminist sites, we’re not focused on amassing page views the way most news sites are; we’re focused on changing the world. Bloggers and online organizers cover and use the news, sure, but we do it with an eye always on social impact and a desire to inspire real action…Other content providers have recently made strides in charging for content; the public service mission of feminist blogging and organizing sites would be undermined if we created barriers to access.

    Click to read the rest of the article on the Nation. It raises some interesting points about the difficulties of online activism (for feminism in particular, but this could also be applied to other advocacy and social justice bloggers) and calls for “bloggers, organizers, philanthropists and business experts alike to put our heads together and figure out how to create a robust, sustainable online space that can serve as the “women’s center in the sky” (as Gloria Steinem recently put it to me) for the next generation.”

    — 2 years ago with 5 notes
    #online feminism  #feminism  #online activism  #progressive activism  #activism  #funding  #women's issues  #advocacy  #social justice  #nation 
    Undocumented Women Forced To Give Birth While Shackled And In Police Custody →

    Shackling during childbirth is illegal in 14 states and is against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy. But women being held for immigration-related offenses classified as “criminal offenses” can still legally be handcuffed to their hospital beds by state authorities in the 36 other states. Those women can also be denied the right to have a family member in the birthing room, or to hold their newborns for longer than 24 hours.

    — 2 years ago with 46 notes
    #childbirth  #immigration  #law  #undocumented  #women's health  #women's issues  #women's rights  #discrimination  #anti-immigration  #human rights 
    "A lot of times with female relationships and young women [in the movies], it’s either ‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ or catty b—, I just have a problem with that. They’re supposed to be either as perfect as how they’re portrayed on Disney or as mean as they’re portrayed in high school movies. And in real life it’s neither of those."
    Elizabeth Olsen
    — 3 years ago with 34 notes
    #elizabeth olsen  #women's issues  #women in film  #sisterhood of the traveling pants  #disney  #high school movies  #film  #caricatures 
    Women executives could wait 98 years for equal pay, says report →

    …While the salaries of female executives are increasing faster than those of their male counterparts, it will take until 2109 to close the gap if pay grows at current rates, the Chartered Management Institute reveals.

    The research shows that male executives continue to be paid more than women for the same roles, earning an average of £42,441 compared with £31,895. The £10,546 gender pay gap is an increase on the £10,031 from the same study last year, despite women’s salaries having grown by 2.4% and men’s 2.1% in the 12 months to February 2011.

    Mike Petrook, head of public affairs at the CMI, said: “Our reaction to it taking almost 100 years to get any form of parity is incredible alarm. It is a position we shouldn’t be finding ourselves in. It brings with it issues of discrimination and loss of skills, as women are more prepared to walk [from jobs] than men if they are not getting what they want.” The data shows that 4.2% of women resigned during the period, compared with 3.6% of men.

    The figures, compiled from a poll of 34,158 UK executives, were unveiled after a year in which the issues of female recruitment and remuneration have become increasingly high-profile…

    — 3 years ago with 3 notes
    #equal pay  #work  #women's rights  #women's issues  #equal pay for equal work