In a dismaying move, the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has proposed changes to the guidelines for family medicine residency programs removing the requirement that residents learn to provide contraception.
In one of the clinics where we work, a 16-year-old girl came in with a sprained ankle. She left with a prescription for birth control.
This turn of events is not as surprising as it seems: As family physicians, we treat the whole person. A quick update revealed that our 16-year-old patient had recently begun to have unprotected sex—and had no plan to get birth control. One of the reasons we love practicing family medicine is that we get to know our patients over time and provide the preventive care they need at every possible opportunity.
A majority of U.S. women get their basic health care from a family physician or other primary care provider, and often that includes reproductive health care. Especially in rural and low-income areas, family physicians do it all! They not only provide birth control but also provide prenatal care, deliver babies, manage miscarriages, counsel patients about unintended pregnancies, and, increasingly, offer pregnancy termination so that their patients do not have to travel long distances and see unfamiliar doctors for these services.
This is unbelievable and dangerous. 99% of women* have used birth control at some point - every family doctor should be trained to provide these services.
Organic Eden Foods’ quiet right-wing agenda - A crunchy, natural food company marketed to liberals sues to stop covering employees’ contraception. ‘Eden Foods’ says of birth control that “these procedures almost always involve immoral & unnatural practices.”
(Salon) -The slogan for Eden Foods, which describes itself as the “oldest natural and organic food company in North America,” is “creation and maintenance of purity in food.” Its CEO and founder, Michael Potter, has been prominent in debates over labeling of organic food and GMOs. But the company has been quietly seeking in court another form of purity — to Catholic doctrine about sex being solely for procreation. That goes not just for Potter, but for all 128 of his employees.
That is, Eden Foods — an organic food company with no shortage of liberal customers — has quietly pursued a decidedly right-wing agenda, suing the Obama administration for exemption from the mandate to cover contraception for its employees under the Affordable Care Act. In court filings, Eden Foods, represented by the conservative Thomas More Law Center, alleges that its rights have been violated under the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.
As of April 1 women in France will have access to free abortions, while teenage girls will be able to get free and anonymous contraception.
The French state will now reimburse 100 percent of the cost of abortions, while girls aged between 15 and 18 have access to free and anonymous birth control.
The change comes as a law voted in late 2012 comes into force.
Until now, French women over 18 could only claim back up to 80 percent for the procedure, which can cost up to 450 euros.
The operations, of which there are around 12,000 a year, will now be fully state-subsidised.
The move to full reimbursement, which was one of French President François Hollande’s 2012 campaign promises and is part of the 2013 social security budget, is designed to improve women’s access to abortions.
And by coupling it with free contraception for younger girls and women, France hopes to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, and thus the number of abortions.
Let’s begin by making a few things clear. Contraception artificially blocks the life-creating potential of the sexual act between a man and woman. There are many ways contraception can do this. Acondom blocks fertility by keeping the man’s sperm from entering the woman’s body. The pillchemically blocks fertility by keeping the woman’s body from ovulating. There are many forms ofchemicals (spermicides, implants such as the IUD) that either kill sperm or impede a woman’s natural fertility cycle. There is also vasectomy that unnaturally blocks tubes that are designed to carry sperm out of a man’s body.
I was on the Planned Parenthood website and I read that some types of birth control are less effective for women over 198 pounds. I weigh about 240 pounds and this kind of freaked me out - I’m not sexually active but I didn’t realize that my options might be limited because of my weight. Do you know anything about this/ what types of birth control this affects? Thanks!
This unfortunatly is not something I know too much about. I did a bit of research on the subject, and it seems that a major reason that this disclaimer is made is because people who were overweight or obese were not included in the clinical trials for these methods (1). I also turned up some of the actual studies that found that weight is a factor in the effectiveness of birth control (2). However, these studies point to issues with just a couple of methods- mainly oral contraceptives. It is also worth noting that even though these methods may be less effective in overweight people, they are still extremely effective in general (3).
Its easy to get freaked out about all of the noise about birth control and weight, but don’t panic! The best person to talk to is your medical provider. They will be able to recommend the method that will work best for your body and lifestyle.
Furious at “people who were overweight or obese were not included in the clinical trials for these methods (1). […] weight is a factor in the effectiveness of birth control”.
In the last two years I’ve started yoyoing (not really through any medical stuff or major lifestyle changes, just through aging, I guess—I’m 24)around the boundary line between the overweight BMI category, where I’ve been pretty comfortable since adolescence, and the obese BMI category, where I am less comfortable for various social reasons, and reading a lot more about fat acceptance, which I haven’t seen as part of the story of reproductive justice except in the sense that it needs to be mentioned again and again that fat people are indeed sexual. But this article kind of clicked for me—what this means for the intersection of fat and reproductive justice is that fat people who can get pregnant who are on the pill (for example: many 24-year-olds) might be more likely to have unintended pregnancies due to certain kinds of contraceptive failure.
This can mean that the process of finding an abortion provider who will help you with a termination, which can already be a very, very hard process in many red states, becomes a degree harder if you’re fat.
And, guess where in the country you’re more likely to be fat?
A few weeks ago my mom stapled pages of a story in one of her women’s magazines together and handed it to me. She gave it to me pretty much with the tag lines “for your feminist blog” and “something new to consider.” Indeed it was; she knows me well.
The story is titled “I was forced to be pregnant.” With a title like that, reading it was actually not on the top of my to read list. I thought it was about women not exercising their right to choice. I was very, very wrong on that one.
Have you ever heard of Reproductive coercion? It is a term that was quite recently coined by the advocates against domestic violence to describe a certain type of abuse some women face. It occurs when a man pressures their partner to have kids and/or impregnates them against their will. Reproductive coercion comes in three different types: 1. Emotional pressure that turns into verbal and physical abuse. 2. Sabotaging birth control 3. Marital rape Over 75% of women 19-49 who reported once experiencing domestic violence also endured some type of reproductive control by men. It’s all about control and domination over a woman’s body.
The first story in the magazine is about a woman who got married around 36 years of age. After a few months of dating her boyfriend talked excitedly about having children. After he proposed he began calling her “The Babymaker.” She then confided with him that one of her fallopian tubes was blocked. He in return insisted she see a fertility doctor. She recounts, “I had finally met a great guy who was eager to start a family with me. What woman wouldn’t fall for that?” Soon after her honeymoon he persisted on in an obsessive manner, but his efforts had to be temporarily halted as she had to get emergency back surgery. Alas, 6 months into recovery he was back to pressuring her again. She was in much pain at the time due to her back, but she agreed to In Vitro Fertilization. She then became pregnant, but soon miscarried. In response, her husband grabbed her by the neck, choking her. He apologized, blaming his outburst on his grief and had her sign up for another round of IVF. And then a third round. She tried to put him off with the excuse that she needed to weigh more before she could take treatments, her husband forced her to get on the scale often and filled the fridge with fattening foods. “It hurt that all I was good for was getting pregnant.” She recounts. At the end, he screamed at her, threatening to replace her with a maid if she couldn’t get pregnant and she told him she no longer wanted to have his child. He destroyed bedroom furniture, pushed her down the stairs and threatened her with a gun. She fled to a domestic violence shelter.
The second story was about a woman who faced marital rape. This woman was 40, had a then boyfriend and two children from a previous marriage. After telling her boyfriend she did not want any more children, her boyfriend refused to wear a condom and began to rape her.She then became pregnant with her third child. Birth control was never an option for her because she couldn’t hide pills anywhere for he went through all of her belongings. Three months after giving birth, he raped her again, impregnating her with twins. She lost the twins in a physical fight with him, but soon became pregnant again. During her recovery she begged her obstetrician to remove her ovaries and devise a lie to tell him; that she had cancer. After a decade of sexual abuse and violence she was able to get a job that kept her out of the house and often times traveling.
One in four callers to the National Domestic Abuse hotline said that their partners had tried to force them to become pregnant. Why? As one woman stated, “Its like he wants to own me from the inside out.”Having a baby is the perfect tie that binds. These type of abusers want to create a circumstance in which their partner is dependent on him.
WHAT’S THAT HAVE TO DO WITH PLANNED PARENTHOOD?
Many voters never consider how defunding these clinics could hurt victims of domestic violence who turn to them for counseling as well as pregnancy prevention. Abused women will turn to health care providers long before they will turn to domestic abuse hotlines and organizations. Many women in abusive relationships rely on life saving, affordable care programs such as Title X. It is critical that such places are open and operation when women and children need them so desperately.
holy fuck im crying.
I know I’ve told this story before, but my abusive ex refused to let me take birth control. I was on the pill until he found them in my purse.
I went to the Student Health Center—they were completely unhelpful, choosing to lecture me about the importance of safe sex (recommending condoms) instead of actually listening to my problem.
Then I went to Planned Parenthood. The Nurse Practitioner took one look at my fading bruises and stopped the exam. She called in the doctor. The doctor came in and simply asked me: “Are you ready to leave him?” When I denied that I was being abused, she didn’t argue with me. She just asked me what I needed. I said I need a birth control method that my boyfriend couldn’t detect. She recommended a few options and we decided on Depo.
When I told her that my boyfriend read my emails and listened to my phone messages and was known to follow me, she suggested to do the Depo injections at off hours when the clinic was normally closed. She made a note in my chart and instructed the front desk never to leave messages for me—instead, she programmed her personal cell phone number into my phone under the name “Nora”. She told me she would call me to schedule my appointments; she wouldn’t leave a message, but I should call her back when I was able to.
And that was it. No judgment. No lecture. She walked me to the door and told me to call her day or night if I needed anything. That she lived 5 blocks from campus and would come get me. That I wasn’t alone. That she just wanted me to be safe.
I never called her to come to my rescue. But I have no doubt that she would have come if I had called. She kept me on Depo for a year, giving me those monthly injections in secret, helping me prevent a desperately unwanted pregnancy.
I cannot thank Planned Parenthood enough for the work they do.
♥ Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials;
♥ Margaret Atwood (especially the Mad Adam series & The Handmaid's Tale);
♥ The Hunger Games;
♥ The X-Files;
♥ (Mostly) everything Joss Whedon; and
♥ Unicorns, narwhals, time travel & zombies (not necessarily in that order).
Also, I'd rather pretend that season 6 of Lost never happened, and that Alias ended with the 2003 Superbowl episode.