- Arizona anti-choicers claim to be pro-life but they’re beating the hell out of a dead horse. They are again trying to defund Planned Parenthood. In hilarious quotes news, some anti-choice lawyer goes, “Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the work of abortionists. Arizona should be free to enforce its public policy against the taxpayer funding of abortion and in favor of the best health care for women.” That deserves maximum LOLs. Taxpayers are forced to subsidize all kids of crap they’re not in favor of. Namely wars. You think I wanna pay for the dropping of drones? Hell no! But we don’t get to pick and choose what our taxes pay for and I have to suck it up — as do the rest of you clowns. Additionally, many of these “taxpayers” they’re alluding to are pro-choice. (AZ Central)
- If you’ve been on birth control pills for a lengthy period of time, be sure to have your eyes checked regularly — just to be safe! (NYT)
- New York Magazine has a lengthy but stellar piece with women sharing their abortion stories. Their stories are hopeful, wrenching, inspiring, heartfelt, and, most of all, real. (NY Mag)
- Birth control has a profound effect on the global economy. (HuffPo)
- There have been hundreds and hundreds of cases since Roe v. Wade depriving women of their right to decide the fate of their own bodies — including arrest, detention, and forced medical interventions. A fetus has more rights than I do. A fetus. Inside of my body. That needs me to live on. That isn’t born. That is technically my property. THAT IS INSIDE MY BODY!! Good to know. (Advocates for Pregnant Women)
- The horror stories about Essure keep on coming! (LAist)
- New Device to Protect Against Pregnancy, Herpes, and HIV Is Possible. (RH Reality Check)
- Apparently a lot of women don’t know about the contraception mandate? *brings out megaphone* Attention, ladies — Birth control is now FREE under the ACA!! WOO HOO! #ThanksObama (CNBC)
- Long-term contraception: Effective but not popular. (NBC News)
- Hillary will not be backing down to anti-choice imbeciles. (Upworthy)
- It’s not looking good for abortion clinics in Ohio. (USA Today)
- And Michigan clinics are being affected as a result. (RH Reality Check)
- Anti-choice ignoramus Lindsey Graham is absolutely positive that prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks is going to result in great things! (HuffPo)
- Instead of taking their asses somewhere to help babies who’ve been born already, a bunch of #$%&^@# in New Mexico are tooling around in a van with graphic, gory (and probably fake) images of “late-term” fetuses who’ve supposedly been aborted. (Think Progress)
- Just because you sign my paycheck doesn’t mean you get to dictate what I do with my uterus. When will that register with these people?!?!? (NYT)
- OK, girls, let’s have a chat — if you don’t want to get pregnant, please use contraception. Don’t assume you have special uterine powers that will automatically repel an embryo from showing up at your uterus’ door. (Jezebel)
- Politicos who try to interfere with women’s use of birth control are in for a rude awakening come election time. #StartPackingYourBags (PolicyMic)
- Get a load of this tripe: The buffoon known as Rush Limbaugh thinks women have no agency in their reproductive choices and are being “turned into abortion machines” by Democrats. (MSNBC)
- Interesting Slate piece on how the victims of the Hitler regime are affecting the abortion debate. (Slate)
- Oh, brother, fetuses have actual rights over the rights of the woman carrying them. And these women are being put in the slammer. The reproductive rights of women are becoming non-existent. (Salon)
- Arizona is trying to eliminate the rights of pregnant women as well. Not that this is extraordinarily out of character for this state. (RH Reality Check)
- By the way, Ohio sucks too. (Think Progress)
- Add Texas to the list as well. (NPR)
- Et tu, Alabama? (ABC News)
- And lest you think these injustices are limited to the United States, the European Union is on the anti-woman train as well. (The Washington Times)
- We might be looking at another government shutdown. This time over contraception. *Heavy sigh* (The Daily Beast)
- Things you should know about the pill and its potential effects on your skin. (HuffPo)
- Birth control is awesome and you won’t have fertility issues after you stop taking it. (Care2)
- 2015 will be a banner year for male contraception! Only 14 months away! Not that I’m counting or anything … (Collegian)
A survey released last year from Planned Parenthood and Family Circle magazine, with assistance from the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health, found that teens are much less comfortable talking with their parents about topics pertaining to sexuality than their parents are talking with them about the same topics.
Planned Parenthood Arizona will be hosting workshops in Phoenix and Tucson to educate parents on how to have “the talk” with their children.
However, when teens are able to have open, ongoing conversations with their parents about relationships and sex, it makes a difference. Studies show that teens who report having good conversations with their parents about sex wait longer to begin having sex and are more likely to use condoms and other birth control methods when they do become sexually active. Further, when teens are comfortable talking with their parents about relationships and sex, parents are better able to help and support them in the decisions they make.
There is no better time than now to get the conversation started, and Let’s Talk month does just that …
Background on Let’s Talk Month: For those who might not be familiar, Let’s Talk Month is a time during which sexuality education providers and advocates across the country encourage young people and parents to communicate with one another about sexuality. Sexuality comprises a wide range of topics, including relationships, anatomy and body image, reproduction, gender and sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of sex education, offers resources, guidance, and encouragement to teens and parents who are unsure about how to talk about relationships and sex. Continue reading
One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. But how can most laypeople differentiate between these medical journals? The dry, pithy titles seem to tell you exactly what’s underneath their covers. So if I told you that, according to a study in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, abortion increases risk for breast cancer, would you believe me? Well, why not? The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), which publishes the journal, sounds legit.
Health decisions must be guided by reliable evidence, and when agenda-driven policies misinform, patients cannot make informed decisions.
Except that AAPS is infamous for its agenda-driven views, and its journal is used to deny climate change and the dangers of secondhand smoking, promote the debunked idea that vaccines cause autism, advocate for closed borders in overtly racist anti-immigration pieces, reject the causal relationship between HIV and AIDS, and perpetuate a far-right political worldview. The organization opposes any government involvement in health care, including the FDA, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and regulation of the medical profession.
Medical journals, like all scientific journals, are where researchers share and critique each other’s work. Before anything is published it undergoes “peer review,” in which experts evaluate studies for quality — good study design, reasonable interpretation of results, etc. The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, however, has been criticized for placing ideology over the presentation of meticulously gathered scientific evidence, and is not indexed in academic databases like MEDLINE. In 2007, AAPS joined conservative organizations in filing a lawsuit against the FDA, arguing against emergency contraception’s over-the-counter status. So, when the journal publishes articles purporting a link between abortion and breast cancer, we should all be raising our eyebrows in collective skepticism.
You might have heard abortion opponents’ claims that abortion can raise one’s risk for breast cancer later in life. So let’s get something out of the way right now: The very best scientific evidence does not support a link between abortion and breast cancer. Prominent medical organizations, including the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the World Health Organization, have all examined the entirety of the research and found that the largest and most methodologically sound studies fail to reveal a link between abortion and breast cancer. Yet still opponents of abortion include this factoid in misinformation campaigns to instill fear into people making difficult, private decisions, often during periods of vulnerability. Continue reading
- A judge in Nebraska’s Supreme Court ruled that a 16-year-old foster child was not “mature enough” to have an abortion. She is, apparently, mature enough to:
- endure nine months of a potentially difficult pregnancy
- endure childbirth (which is much more dangerous than abortion)
- have a child to take care of financially and emotionally for something like … I don’t know, 20 years
- be a teen parent totally alone in this world with no close relatives to support her and her child
Welcome to the perfectly logical world of anti-choicers. (Jezebel)
- Contraception: good for women and good for society. (Raw Story)
- Expanding the availability of abortions — California, you’re doin’ it right. (NYT)
- Not interfering with a woman’s legal right to abortion — Ohio, you’re doin’ it wrong. (NYT)
- Although World Contraception Day was two weeks ago, it’s still important that you know these five things about birth control. (ThinkProgress)
- Not so fast, Virginia, your abortion restrictions will not go unchallenged!! (WaPo)
- A thoughtful mother wants safe, legal abortion access available for her daughter and everyone else’s. (The Daily Beast)
- Another religious “institution” doing whatever possible to restrict their female employees’ access to abortion. (LA Times)
- If you’re a GOP legislator, why would you focus on resolving the silly government shutdown when you can instead propose more legislation around abortion? (RH Reality Check)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported recently that one in nine sexually active women, or 5.8 million women, has used emergency contraceptive pills, such as Plan B. Emergency contraception is a woman’s back-up method to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, and women report using it when they feel their contraceptive method has failed, such as a broken condom, or they do not use a regular contraceptive like birth control pills.
The latest scientific evidence shows that Plan B works mainly by delaying ovulation — not by affecting a fertilized egg.
Some conservative politicians have been stating publicly that emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), such as Plan B, cause abortions. They may believe that life begins at conception (fertilization of the egg by the sperm) and argue that ECPs disrupt a fertilized egg’s ability to implant in the uterus, which they consider equivalent to abortion. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and experts from the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health consider a pregnancy to be established when a fertilized egg settles itself on the wall of the uterus — implantation. A woman is most likely to become pregnant when she ovulates, which is usually about two weeks before her next period. Sperm can live for up to three days. So, if an egg is fertilized, there are still possibly six to 12 days before the implantation may take place.
When ECPs were first developed and information about them was submitted to the FDA for market approval, the drug manufacturers included mention of every possible mechanism on how the pill might work to prevent pregnancy. This included wording about preventing or delaying ovulation, making the sperm or egg less able to meet, and possibly preventing implantation. However, the latest scientific evidence has shown that ECPs such as Plan B mainly work by delaying ovulation — Plan B does not affect implantation and has no effect on existing pregnancies. Several prominent researchers have stated that if in fact Plan B disrupted implantation, it would be 100 percent effective at preventing a pregnancy, and that is not the case. Continue reading
Welcome to the latest installment of “Over 90 Percent of What Planned Parenthood Does,” a series on Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona’s blog that highlights Planned Parenthood’s diverse array of services — the ones Jon Kyl never knew about.
Fertility awareness is not the same as the rhythm method.
Let’s start there.
It’s a common misconception that is, at best, a massive oversimplification that misconstrues the concept and may lead people to dismiss or deride fertility awareness out of hand. In reality, a lot of people could benefit from a more thorough understanding of fertility, as many sexually active couples spend a lot of their lives trying to control it — whether to avoid or achieve pregnancy. Planned Parenthood health centers provide education in fertility awareness-based methods (FAMs) for a variety of purposes.
If fertility awareness is not just the rhythm method, what is fertility awareness?
For someone having menstrual cycles, fertility awareness involves monitoring cycle signs and symptoms — predominantly cervical fluid and basal body temperature, though these are often supported or “cross referenced” by tracking other signs as well — in order to determine when a person is approaching ovulation and/or to confirm when ovulation has already taken place.
How does that even work?
Fertility awareness-based methods rely on a few underlying assumptions about fertility and the likelihood of conception:
- For pregnancy to happen, there must be both sperm and an ovum (egg) present.
- Ovulation — the release of an egg from the ovary into the fallopian tube — occurs once per menstrual cycle.
- Sperm can survive inside someone with a uterus for approximately five to six days. (Note: The actual number a given person or couple will want to use for this assumption can vary a bit depending on whether their main goal is to achieve or avoid pregnancy.)
- The ovum itself is viable in the fallopian tube for approximately one to two days. After that, it begins to disintegrate, and fertilization is not possible during that cycle. (Again, different couples may use different assumptions depending on their goals.) Continue reading