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Routine Pelvic Exams are Unnecessary

The American College of Physicians admitted Monday that pelvic exams are not a useful screening tool for healthy women, and can even be harmful. Although these exams are often still required for hormonal contraception, there is no medical reason to do so, and pelvics are often a significant barrier to birth control access. They are not an effective way to diagnose ovarian cancer either, and urinalysis is a better way to detect STIs. The American College of Obstetricans and Gynecologists disagreed, but acknowledged that the case for pelvic exams "lacks data." Pelvic exams are so anxiety-inducing, uncomfortable, or painful that they can even cause some people to avoid medical care altogether, yet both clinicians and patients are so resistant to change that it's likely millions of women will continue to be screened despite the lack of evidence of benefit.
posted by Violet Hour on Jul 1, 2014 - 96 comments

Huey, Dewey, and Louie's pivotal role in modern Family Planning

In 1968, well loved cartoon character Donald Duck continued his educational film career by appearing in a Disney-produced short for the Population Council, called Family Planning. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 on Aug 1, 2013 - 17 comments

Side effects include FUN

Combining the only two things that women in commericals can talk about in groups, it's Dannon Birth Control on the Bottom. From Yahoo sketch comedy show SketchY, starring twitter queen Megan Amram and a very angry Weird Al.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 21, 2013 - 42 comments

"I am done making excuses for the pro-life movement."

How I Lost Faith In The Pro-Life Movement: "What I want to share here is how I came to this realization. And if you, reader, are one of those who opposes abortion because you believe it is murder and you want to save the lives of unborn babies, well, I hope to persuade you that the pro-life movement is not actually your ally in this, that you have been misled, and that you would be more effective in decreasing the number of abortions that occur if you were to side with pro-choice progressives. If this is you, please hear me out before shaking your head." [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 7, 2012 - 544 comments

the Contraceptive Choice Project finds that free birth control access significantly cuts abortion rates

Free birth control cuts abortion rate dramatically, study finds: "When more than 9,000 women ages 14 to 45 in the St. Louis area were given no-cost contraception for three years, abortion rates dropped from two-thirds to three-quarters lower than the national rate." [more inside]
posted by flex on Oct 5, 2012 - 72 comments

Take that, Caitlin Flanagan

Focusing on career -- how hookup culture empowers women
posted by msalt on Sep 9, 2012 - 51 comments

Just For The Fun Of It

Collector's Weekly offers us a history of the condom in the United States.
posted by gman on Aug 18, 2012 - 22 comments

A Coordinated Assault on Women?

In the wake of so many recent controversies over women and their right to safe, affordable health care and the supposed desire of working women to be "put in their place" by aggressive men in the bedroom, Penny Red suggests that "Right now, we are in the middle of a sexual counter-revolution." [more inside]
posted by bardic on Apr 24, 2012 - 201 comments

Stag Party

The GOP’s woman problem is that it has a serious problem with women. Frank Rich on George Stephanopoulos's unanswered question, how the Republicans have shifted to being the party of misogyny since the 70s, and why Mitt Romney would be just as bad as Rick Santorum.
posted by Artw on Mar 27, 2012 - 160 comments

We love you. Every part of you belongs to you.

ILU-486, a chilling short story by Amanda Ching, in the vein of dystopian classics like The Handmaid's Tale and inspired by recent events in Virginia, has been sweeping the blogsphere. [more inside]
posted by suburbanbeatnik on Feb 25, 2012 - 66 comments

And in this corner, weighing in at 2,000 years, the Catholic Church

After much protestation from religious communities, the Obama administration has compromised on its controversial contraceptive law. Non-profit organizations (such as hospitals) that are affiliated with religious institutions will not be required to provide contraceptives--but insurance companies will. But some Catholics still aren't satisfied.
posted by kethonna on Feb 10, 2012 - 225 comments

Machisma

Machisma: How a mix of female empowerment and steamy soap operas helped bring down Brazil’s fertility rate and stoke its vibrant economy.
posted by the young rope-rider on Nov 1, 2011 - 25 comments

"Attack me in the comments section -- GO."

Jane Pratt (formerly of Sassy Magazine and her eponymous Jane,) launched a website for women: xojane, earlier this year. Last week the site's Health and Beauty Director wrote a blog post explaining that she never uses condoms, birth control pills, or other contraception (for fear of becoming fat) and instead relies on the emergency contraceptive Plan B to prevent pregnancy. And a segment of the internet exploded. (Her responses to some of the comments seem a bit clueless for someone with her title.) Critics have noted that the post was filled with "ignorant" "inaccuracies and misconceptions" about womens' health, sex, Plan B and other forms of birth control. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 21, 2011 - 104 comments

Women's health care: now without co-pays

Effective January 1, 2013, United States insurers will now be required to make a variety of medical procedures and medications available without copay as part of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. Although the availability of prescribed birth control without copay is likely to have the widest effect, the plan also includes breast pumps for nursing mothers, an annual well-woman examination, and testing for gestational diabetes and the virus that causes cervical cancer, as well as other services related to women's health. [more inside]
posted by catlet on Aug 1, 2011 - 110 comments

"Freedom is a good thing"

Sam and Bethany Torode published a book in 2002 called Open Embrace: A Protestant Couple Rethinks Conception, a book that captured the growing movement among conservative Protestant Christians toward the use of natural family planning. In 2006, the Torodes' announced their perspective had changed slightly (Archive.org capture of full statement). In 2009, the Torodes divorced. Bethany is now writing candidly about her life as a single mother with 4 children on her blog, In Full Bloom. Sam recently published a novel called The Dirty Parts of the Bible.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jul 10, 2011 - 130 comments

True love will get you laid for a couple of years and all of a sudden you're looking at someone and thinking, "What do I see in this person?"

Tamora Pierce is a writer of YA fantasy whose novels primarily feature female protagonists. Among other things, her novels explore privilege and prejudice within her fantastic cultures. In a recent interview for The Atlantic, she talks about why we need more girl heroes, the use of birth control for her teenage characters, and the myth of “sappy, sugary, true love”.
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 11, 2011 - 57 comments

"Personhood" laws and reproductive rights

45 years ago yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that birth control (for married women) was legal and that the US Constitution guaranteed privacy to women seeking reproductive services. That privacy ruling was instrumental in subsequent cases [pdf]regarding the legality of birth control and pregnancy termination. And while many states are pushing through new termination restrictions; some states are now pushing through "Personhood" laws that grant constitutional rights to zygotes and fetuses. These laws ban abortion without exception, ban certain forms of birth control, ban in-vitro fertilization, and forbid the treatment of pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancies. The legislations are being marketed by a "Conceived by Rape" bus tour. [more inside]
posted by dejah420 on Jun 9, 2011 - 121 comments

family planning, old school

Antique contraception & protection from the disease - (NSFW) male & female methodologies of birth control from antiquity to the 1900s in pictures and text (Translated from Russian) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 12, 2011 - 19 comments

Is infertility the unintended consequence of The Pill?

"The fact is that the Pill, while giving women control of their bodies for the first time in history, allowed them to forget about the biological realities of being female until it was, in some cases, too late." New York magazine explores the connection between the Pill and the infertility industry. The XX Factor blog takes issue with the article, calling it "sexist" and "condescending."
posted by desjardins on Dec 1, 2010 - 99 comments

The Hidden World of Girls

Hidden World of Girls: Girls and the Women they Become is NPR's collaborative year-long, ongoing series between The Kitchen Sisters, NPR and listener submissions. The series explores "stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secet identities—of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 2, 2010 - 16 comments

Shit My Kids Ruined

The strongest visual birth control on the market today.
posted by ottereroticist on May 12, 2010 - 173 comments

Happy You-Don't-Have-To-Be-A-Mother's Day

"There's no such thing as the Car or the Shoe or the Laundry Soap. But everyone knows the Pill, whose FDA approval 50 years ago rearranged the furniture of human relations in ways that we've argued about ever since." Time Magazine's cover article this month chronicles fifty years of reliable oral contraceptives. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on May 7, 2010 - 30 comments

Virgin is not a dirty word.

The Evolution of Birth Control.
posted by gman on Oct 29, 2009 - 39 comments

Pro-Life Medicine, Whether you Like it or Not

A clinic nurse first removed her intrauterine birth-control device without permission, says the patient in a federal action, then told her that "having the IUD come out was a good thing," because "I personally do not like IUDs. I feel they are a type of abortion. I don't know how you feel about abortion, but I am against them."
posted by tehloki on Jan 20, 2009 - 119 comments

Moral turpitude

As reported in the Guardian the US has cut funding for condoms in Marie Stopes' African clinics. In 2007 MSI provided 129 million male and female condoms. Since 2001 with the Mexico City Policy commonly known as " The Global Gag" The Bush administration has blocked birth control access at every turn. It has tried to redefine Contraception as Abortion. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Oct 6, 2008 - 38 comments

Blue Collar Babies

Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies—more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. Some adults dismissed the statistic as a blip. Others blamed hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed mothers. But principal Joseph Sullivan knows at least part of the reason there's been such a spike in teen pregnancies in this Massachusetts fishing town.
posted by swift on Jun 19, 2008 - 209 comments

I will provide emergency contraception to any woman who requests it, no questions asked, in complete privacy, free of cost.

Emergency Kindness -- a new network dedicated to providing emergency contraception for women in need. Members ("Janes") promise to have some Plan B on hand to immediately send to women in need, whether they were denied by their local doctor or pharmacy or couldn't get to one.
posted by amberglow on Oct 22, 2006 - 60 comments

In Connecticut, it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital - Joe Lieberman

Folks, the condom broke Friday night and I searched all weekend for someone who could prescribe me EC. It is now Monday and I have to report that I have been unable to find anyone who will write me a fucking prescription for EC. None of the hospitals in the surrounding counties would write it for me. I stopped my search at about 100 miles from my home because my telephone book wouldn't take me out any further than that.

I have been asked about my sexual practices. Whether I'm 'monogamous' or 'in a relationship' if I'm married, if I have kids, how many kids I have, if I was raped or 'traumatized' but there wasn’t' ONE question about my health. Not one. The few places that said that they had a doctor who would occasionally write prescriptions for EC told me that I had to ask for that doctor specifically and then they proceeded to tell me that I would be 'interviewed' to see if I meet that doctors 'criteria' and then they proceeded to ask me all the above questions before telling me that I should 'try anyway' and I 'might be able to talk him into it'.

posted by orthogonality on Sep 22, 2006 - 190 comments

No Need for a Plan B for Plan B

[NewsFilter] A partial victory for public health over politics. Amazingly, the FDA has finally, after 3 years of wrangling, approved over-the-counter sale of Plan B, an emergency contraceptive pill. The victory is partial because you need to be 18 or older to purchase it without a doctor's note. If you're under 18, you need to still have documentation from your physician (or nurse practitioner). The politics behind the approval process were laid bare in this (sincerely) fascinating GAO report [note: links to .pdf file]. I also hope that OTC approval will avoid this.

Plan B previously discussed on MeFi here.
posted by scblackman on Aug 24, 2006 - 65 comments

Forever Pregnant II: Morality Boogaloo

The new lies about women's health (image slightly NSFW) according to Glamour. More on why every egg is sacred to the Bush administration. [via Wired's Sex Drive Daily]
posted by boost ventilator on Jun 3, 2006 - 90 comments

we menstruate too often

What the co-inventor of the Pill didn't know about menstruation can endanger women's health: "The passion and urgency that animated the birth-control debates of the sixties are now a memory. John Rock still matters, though, for the simple reason that in the course of reconciling his church and his work he made an error. It was not a deliberate error. It became manifest only after his death, and through scientific advances he could not have anticipated. But because that mistake shaped the way he thought about the Pill--about what it was, and how it worked, and most of all what it meant--and because John Rock was one of those responsible for the way the Pill came into the world, his error has colored the way people have thought about contraception ever since."
posted by heatherann on Sep 20, 2005 - 54 comments

One Egg At A Time, Please, Just One Egg At A Time

One Egg At A Time, Please, Just One Egg At A Time!

Representative Lonnie Napier has a great idea! IVF requires eggs to be harvested from a woman, combined with a man's sperm outside of the woman's body, then putting several embryos back in hopes of getting one to implant and grow, resulting in a baby. Rep. Napier, being strongly pro-life and opposed to IVF, thinks the way to solve this is to fertilize only one egg at a time. And to violate this new law would be a class D felony in Kentucky, punishable with 1-5 years in prison.

Via And I Wasted All That Birth Control...
posted by OhPuhLeez on May 12, 2005 - 71 comments

The pill: setting nice girls free

The Pill - 45 years ago this month, the contraceptive pill was approved by the FDA for U.S. public release, a watershed point for women, providing a prescription for equality. However, it was illegal for single women to use the pill until the 1972 Supreme Court decision of Eisenstadt v. Baird. Ex-boxer Bill Baird was an unlikely contraceptive crusader. His efforts earned imprisonment, death threats, and the enmity of many feminists. He continues his crusade today because, unfortunately, the right to contraceptives is still not a freedom we can take for granted. - more -
posted by madamjujujive on May 10, 2005 - 46 comments

Bush Seeks Money for Abstinence Education

Bush Seeks Money for Abstinence Education President Bush's re-election insures that more federal money will flow to abstinence education that precludes discussion of birth control, even as the administration awaits evidence that the approach gets kids to refrain from sex. Congress last weekend included more than $131 million for abstinence programs in a $388 billion spending bill, an increase of $30 million but about $100 million less than Bush requested. Meanwhile, a national evaluation of abstinence programs has been delayed, with a final report not expected until 2006.
posted by Postroad on Nov 26, 2004 - 63 comments

Apothecary as Moral Guide?

Pharmacist Refuses to Dispense Birth Control (USA Today link, sorry)
A pharamacist has decided that she's morally opposed to birth control and so has refused to dispense it to her clients. Neverminding the fact that its her job.

"The American Pharmacists Association, with 50,000 members, has a policy that says druggists can refuse to fill prescriptions if they object on moral grounds, but they must make arrangements so a patient can still get the pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist to fill."

If a pharmacist refuses to fill your prescription and you suffer for it (pregnancy or whatever) wouldn't that pharmacy and pharmacist be culpable for your suffering?
Doesn't this just expose these drug stores to massive lawsuits? Or just massive boycotts?
posted by fenriq on Nov 9, 2004 - 90 comments

Should a doctor be able to refuse to help patients?

Conscience Clauses and Health Care --"Yes, we need to respect individual freedom of religion. But at what point does it cross the line of not providing essential medical care? At what point is it malpractice?" she asked. "If someone's beliefs interfere with practicing their profession, perhaps they should do something else." The Protection of Conscience Project feels differently: Protection of Conscience Laws are needed because powerful interests are inclined to force health care workers and others to participate, directly or indirectly, in morally controversial procedures, while NARAL says: ... Many of these clauses go far beyond respecting individuals' beliefs to the point of harming women by not providing them with full information or access to medical treatment. Medicine, not ideology, should determine medical decisions.
posted by amberglow on Sep 17, 2004 - 69 comments

34 Million Friends

34 Million Friends was founded by Lois Abraham and Jane Roberts to gather private contributions for the United Nations Population Fund, and had gathered $1,957,613.31 in gifts and pledges as of July 4. For the third year in a row, the Bush administration is withholding $34 million in aid because of accusations that UNFPA supports China's policy of coercive abortions, despite evidence to the contrary. UNFPA estimates the money could have helped prevent as many as 2 million unwanted pregnancies, 800,000 abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths, and over 77,000 infant deaths.
posted by homunculus on Jul 18, 2004 - 16 comments

Doctors put spotlight on Plan B pill

Doctors put spotlight on Plan B pill The American Medical Association voiced its support for over-the-counter sales of morning-after birth control, saying the Food and Drug Administration was wrong to reject such sales and urging doctors to write advance prescriptions.
posted by Postroad on Jun 17, 2004 - 9 comments

What if it was his Daughter?

Texas Pharmacist Refuses Emergency Contraception for Rape Victim. Should the pharmacist be punished?
posted by EmoChild on Feb 3, 2004 - 63 comments

Eggs-tra ova

One egg, one month. Seemed like such a simple, comprehensible system - until now. "We are literally going to have to re-write medical textbooks," said Dr. Roger Pierson. Turns out many women may ovulate more than once a month, which may be why the rhythm method fails so often.
posted by soyjoy on Jul 9, 2003 - 56 comments

Is CRACK wack?

The CRACK Program (Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity) The organization's premise is radical, if dizzyingly simple: CRACK gives addicts $200 (they'll throw in an extra $50 if a participant recommends a friend) and sets up the medical procedures at a public hospital or clinic. All Nicole had to do was sign a release form, and two weeks later she had her tubes tied at a local hospital. She received a check the following month.
posted by Espoo2 on Apr 8, 2003 - 78 comments

women on the pill

The Pill changes women's taste in men. Women on the pill prefer masculine men for marriage and sensitive guys for flings. Women not on the pill prefer the opposite, according to a recent British study. Researchers don't know why but "Where a woman chooses her partner while she is on the pill, and then comes off it to have a child, she may find she is married to the wrong man."
posted by stbalbach on Jan 22, 2003 - 47 comments

CRACK

MeFiers have gotten into this before, in terms of forced sterilization. Although it has been around in California for some time, the idea of optional, paid sterilization or long-term birth control is presenting itself in New York City. (NYT reg.req) The founder of the organization that sponsors this paid sterilization/LT birth control has her experience with drug-addicted children, seeing as she adopted four. The FAQ is certainly interesting, but equally as compelling is the 'natural response' to this organization. This is a fact sheet presented by Communities Against Rape and Abuse (Acrobat), and more links here, here, here, and here.
posted by oflinkey on Jan 6, 2003 - 17 comments

The male contraceptive pill

The male contraceptive pill is 100% effective and will be available in 2005. Will you take it? Will men stop using condoms and STDs increase as a result? Can men be trusted to take it every day?
posted by norm29 on Nov 13, 2002 - 66 comments

The Vatican incensed at distribution of the morning after pill and sex manuals in Afghan refugee camps.

The Vatican incensed at distribution of the morning after pill and sex manuals in Afghan refugee camps. "They will introduce young men and women to an individualistic and irresponsible use of sexual pleasure". In a refugee camp? Hello?
posted by magullo on Nov 30, 2001 - 30 comments

Teenage myths about contraception

Teenage myths about contraception "Coke douches work and you can use crisp bags as condoms" and "Putting a watch around your penis before sex means the radioactivity of the dial kills off sperm."
Many more....
posted by nonharmful on Jul 17, 2001 - 31 comments

Thrown off the scent.

Thrown off the scent. A fascinating story about The Pill and its effect on women's mate choice, and the effect of these choices on evolution. T-shirts belonging to unknown men were given to women to smell. All they had to do was say which smelt best. Women on the pill chose exactly the opposite t-shirts to those that didn't - find me free will, personal taste and the nature / culture divide in that if you can... [found via Plastic - and if you want to talk about that, then click here]
posted by barbelith on Feb 27, 2001 - 27 comments

Oh hell, here we go again.... Mother faces 15 years and $10,000 for buying 13 year old condoms. Why must we be so stupid?
posted by baylink on Jan 16, 2001 - 58 comments

Birth Control Pills for Men

Birth Control Pills for Men I'm not sure who the target market for this product is, though I'd think that the only women who would trust that a man is truly "on the pill" would be ones who watched him take it every day, so married/cohabitating men only, I suppose. Probably just as well.
posted by Dreama on Jul 27, 2000 - 10 comments

A birth control pill for men.

A birth control pill for men. I wonder if it will be available over the counter, or if annual prostate exams will be required before getting a prescription from a doctor.
posted by phichens on Jul 17, 2000 - 13 comments

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