Archive for the ‘Women’s Health’ Category

Just going to put this out there #FWIW:  If only Black and Latina women were getting abortions, would the GOP guys be trying to rule women’s bodies?

The answer is no.

What they want is age-old. The Catholic Church rules this way for the same reason.

They want white women to repopulate a diminishing white population – by force and by law if necessary.

Heads up!

White people are inexorably headed to minority status in the United States.

Even if white people remained the majority, there is no evidence that voters would tolerate racist legislation.

A few things are for sure, though.  Women constitute the majority of the electorate, and we don’t care much for white men making decisions about women’s health care.

When they banish funding for Planned Parenthood, they block necessary health care for women and men: testing for STDs and cancer – blocked. Birth control – also blocked.

You balding, white-haired men do not represent women or our best interests in any way. You just want white women to pop out as many babies as possible to sustain a demographic majority in this country. What a poorly considered agenda!

Repopulation by birth rate is a cruel and shoddy agenda. Women are not baby machines.

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Just in case you were under the impression that we were doing, pretty well, this is worth a read.

3 Foreign Women Visited The U.S. To Assess Gender Equality. They Were Horrified.

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post

Laura Bassett 8 hrs ago

Eleonora Zielinska, left, Alda Facio and Frances Raday. Lt. Gov Kay Ivey/Guillermo Padres Elias/Flickr

© Lt. Gov Kay Ivey/Guillermo Padres Elias/Flickr Eleonora Zielinska, left, Alda Facio and Frances Raday. Lt. Gov Kay Ivey/Guillermo Padres Elias/Flickr

A delegation of human rights experts from Poland, the United Kingdom and Costa Rica spent 10 days this month touring the United States so they can prepare a report on the nation’s overall treatment of women. The three women, who lead a United Nations working group on discrimination against women, visited Alabama, Texas and Oregon to evaluate a wide range of U.S. policies and attitudes, as well as school, health and prison systems.The delegates were appalled by the lack of gender equality in America. They found the U.S. to be lagging far behind international human rights standards in a number of areas, including its 23 percent gender pay gap, maternity leave, affordable child care and the treatment of female migrants in detention centers.


The women discovered during their visit that women in the United States have “missing rights” compared to the rest of the world. For instance, the U.S. is one of three countries in the world that does not guarantee women paid maternity leave. The U.N. suggests that countries guarantee at least 14 weeks of paid parental leave. Some countries go further — Iceland requires five months paid leave for each parent, and an additional two months to be shared between them.


While the delegates were shocked by many things they saw in the U.S., perhaps the biggest surprise of their trip, they said, was learning that women in the country don’t seem to know what they’re missing.

“So many people really believe that U.S. women are way better off with respect to rights than any woman in the world,” Raday said. “They would say, ‘Prove it! What do you mean other people have paid maternity leave?'”

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It has now been a year.  It is a sad anniversary.  Sadder still that so little has been done to retrieve these young women from captivity.  Those who have returned have escaped on their own.

Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls: #BringBackOurGirls @BringGirlsBack

It has been two weeks since the invasion of a girls’ dormitory in Nigeria and the kidapping of well more than 200 young girls  (accounts differ).

This Twitter account has been set up to publicize this case and any progress made in locating the missing girls.




234 school girls abducted: we’re getting organized and coordinated to make an actual difference. and

You can join the discussion here:

Hundreds of kidnapped Nigerian school girls reportedly sold as brides to militants for $12, relatives say

An unidentified mother cries out during a demonstration with others who have daughters among the kidnapped school girls of government secondary school Chibok, Tuesday April 29, 2014, in Abuja, Nigeria.  Two weeks after Islamic extremists stormed a remote boarding school in northeast Nigeria, more than 200 girls and young women remain missing despite a “hot pursuit” by security forces and desperate parents heading into a dangerous forest in search of their daughters. Some dozens have managed to escape their captors, jumping from the back of an open truck or escaping into the bush from a forest hideout, although the exact number of escapees is unclear. (AP Photo/ Gbemiga Olamikan)

Samson Dawah was nervous. For two weeks, he had waited for any bit of information regarding his niece, who was among the 234 Nigerian school girls likely kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram. This week, he gathered his extended family. He had news but also an unusual request. He asked that the elderly not attend. He wasn’t sure they could bear what he had to say.

“We have heard from members of the forest community where they took the girls,” he told them. ”They said there had been mass marriages and the girls are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants.”

The girl’s father fainted, the Guardian reported, and has since been hospitalized. But the news got worse. Village elder Pogo Bitrus told Agence France Presse locals had consulted with “various sources” in the nation’s forested northeast. “From the information we received yesterday from Cameroonian border towns our abducted girls were taken… into Chad and Cameroon,” he said, adding that each girl was sold as a bride to Islamist militants for 2,000 naira — $12.

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Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls Forced To Marry Extremists: Reports

Posted: 04/30/20

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a civic organization reported Wednesday.

At the same time, the Boko Haram terrorist network is negotiating over the students’ fate and is demanding an unspecified ransom for their release, a Borno state community leader told The Associated Press.

He said the Wednesday night message from the abductors also claimed that two of the girls have died from snake bites.

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I ran across this graphic on Facebook yesterday.

Yep, ma’am.  You can bring your gun in, but not those maxi-pads!

There has been a great deal of news coverage the past week of the Zimmerman trial, and , to some extent, that has reduced the degree to which this story has been covered.  Here is a report, published by Jessica Luther,  from the Texas Senate Gallery.  Just thought you should know.


My friend, Nancy Flores, is in the gallery for the Senate debate on HB2 and is updating her personal Facebook page. And it’s wonderful. So, with her permission, I’m going to post her FB posts here:

(started around 2pm…all words after this are Nancy’s):

Read Nancy’s account >>>>

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The Department of Homegirl Security (DeHoS) took a stand solidly behind the Nuns on the Bus nearly two months ago.  They are a handful of sisters with a social conscience who embarked on a tour in June to educate voters and politicians alike on the social, practical, and moral  implications of the proposed Ryan budget as well as particular campaign platforms.

If you thought, however, that the Nuns on the Bus were some kind of radical, breakaway faction, think again.

US nuns call for more dialogue with the Vatican

Seth Perlman / AP

Outgoing President of The Leadership Conference of Women Religious Sister Pat Farrell, right, and president-elect Sister Florence Deacon, left, listen to questions from reporters Friday in St. Louis.

By Becky Bratu, NBC News

American nuns under fire from the Vatican said they will continue their dialogue with Catholic bishops “for as long as possible,” the group announced Friday as it wrapped a week of discussions and prayer at its yearly national assembly in St. Louis, Mo.

According to the National Catholic Reporter, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella organization representing about 80 percent of the 57,000 nuns in the United States, “will reconsider if [they are] forced to compromise the integrity of [their] mission.”

Hours before the scheduled press conference, the organization’s president addressed its members, urging the sisters to be “truthful, but gentle and absolutely fearless,” according to the National Catholic Reporter.

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Did you see what I saw?   They represent roughly eighty percent – that’s 80% – that is  eight of every ten of all the nuns in the U.S.  And they are at odds with the Vatican.  Put another way,  eight of every ten American nuns disagree with the pope, and the disagreement is over social issues.  It is about challenges, in this economy,  to families at risk,  and their ability to make decisions about how many children they can afford to raise, and how they can limit risks to the family they already have.

The nuns have squared off, and tonight, for me,  epiphany struck.  A late, lamented colleague of mine and I often discussed the American Catholic Church.   We agreed that it was a different church from the Roman Catholic Church in that Americans of all religions are also essentially Protestant. (For a larger discussion of this see Nuns on the Bus.)

It was the late-1980s.  We were  at a Krystalnacht memorial symposium at a Catholic women’s college.  When the panel discussion ended, we hung back in the all-purpose room while the sisters came in to prepare for Mass.  As they did so, I turned to her and asked, “Would you have a problem with any one of those women saying Mass?”  She said no.  But I felt  we were second-class members of our Church, up against the men, and they would decide – against us.

American bishops are between a rock and a hard place.  The Vatican is intransigent, but the nuns are resolved.  The bishops have always sort of run an American Church, quietly and under the Vatican’s radar.   My friend and I agreed that there could eventually be a schism.  Here is where we were reprehensibly wrong.  We thought it would be the bishops.

That was my epiphany tonight.  Of course it will not be the men.  Why didn’t I see that?  It will be the women.  It will be the nuns.  The ones who taught us girls to sing the whole Mass when the boys went to altar boy practice because they knew we were envious that the boys were learning Latin, so they decided to teach us more Latin than the boys knew.   Those were feminist nuns.  They did not want us to be second-class.

Today’s nuns were my choirmates.  Whether the issue is who gets to learn Latin (not really an issue anymore),  serve Mass (girls can now, thank you Vatican II), SAY Mass, or who decides how many children a family will have,  these nuns believe the answer lies in equality and access to current technology and medicine that should be universally available and used according to personal conscience and common sense.  Serving as teachers, nurses, and social workers to the poor,  they know the consequences of subjugation.  They are not second-class religious. The Vatican is dealing with equals.  The nuns will not be bowed.

Before this battle is over,  I think we will see a woman lying face down on the floor taking Holy Orders.  But even if we do not,  the American Catholic Church will either have the blessing of the Vatican or have broken away.  The Church needs vocations.  They are out there, in earrings and pearls.  They already tend flocks and know their needs.  They are eminently qualified to pastor.  They already do.  They actually know how the flock works, what endangers it, and how to protect it better than the current shepherds do.

P.S. As I was writing this, the breaking news was that tomorrow Paul Ryan will be announced as  Romney’s running mate.  The sky is not falling – yet. But it might be  a good idea to just smash that glass ceiling once and for all and put a leader on the top of the Dem ticket.  You know – someone who can blast that GOP ticket to Mars along with that Ryan budget.  You know who I mean.

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While everyone is paying attention to Greece and Spain, Italy is teetering  on the brink.  Some pundits say that the real  fate of the Eurozone lies in Italy’s ability to weather the current economic winds. It occurred to me that I did not know whether the Vatican was part of the EU.  It is not, but, oddly, its currency is the Vatican Euro which is made in Rome.

With brand names like Prada, Ferrari, and Armani continuing to do well, Italy may come through just fine.  That is not why I raised the subject.  It is pretty clear to anyone who knows anything about the Vatican why that sovereign state would eschew EU membership.  Legendary accumulated wealth and perennially resurfacing Vatican Bank scandals hint at roiling financial and economic storms beneath the serene surface.  A two thousand year history of borderline incestuous relations with European royalty may have established much of the Vatican’s wealth, but a side effect might be the belief that the tiny city-state gets to dictate what happens politically in other countries.  When Vatican officials tried to bitch-slap American nuns recently, the nuns not only stood their ground, but, in an all-American huff, decided to take their message on the road.

Nuns, Rebuked by Rome, Plan Road Trip to Spotlight Social Issues

Published: June 5, 2012

In a spirited retort to the Vatican, a group of Roman Catholic nuns is planning a bus trip across nine states this month, stopping at homeless shelters, food pantries, schools and health care facilities run by nuns to highlight their work with the nation’s poor and disenfranchised.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Sister Simone Campbell is organizing a bus tour to draw attention to nuns’ work with the poor and to protest planned aid cuts.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

The bus’s decal.

The bus tour is a response to a blistering critique of American nuns released in April by the Vatican’s doctrinal office, which included the accusation that the nuns are outspoken on issues of social justice, but silent on other issues the church considers crucial: abortion and gay marriage.

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I am reminded of this incident.

5 Nuns in New Jersey Break Away Over Break With Tradition

By ROBERT HANLEY, Special to the New York Times
Published: October 08, 1988

Five cloistered nuns are protesting at their monastery here over the relaxation of rigid monastic lifestyles rooted in the 16th century.

Since Tuesday, the five have secluded themselves in the monastery’s second-floor infirmary, fearful they face eviction from the monastery because of their opposition to the recent introduction of a television, classical music and brighter lighting in the prayer chapel.

To the five sisters, these 20th-century society elements are distractions to their dedication to solitude, silence and daily contemplative prayer, and the abandonment of the reclusive principles of their order, the Discalced Carmelite Nuns, founded in 1562.

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A brilliant friend, mentor, and colleague of mine, a naturalized American able to see our culture through eyes more objective than our own and trained in anthropology,  and I were driving past that cloister a few years later.  “I wish I could have spoken to the Pope during that stand-off,” she said.  “He didn’t realize he was dealing with protestant nuns.”  Her larger thesis was that all Americans, regardless of the religious tradition in which we are raised, are essentially protestants.  It’s what we do.  We protest.  Our nation was born in protest and the founders enshrined that right in the very first amendment to our constitution.  That is the importance they lent to the role of protest in our infant culture.

Sister Simone Campbell and her bus mates along with Sister Margaret Farley (whom the Vatican officials appear to regard as a ring leader in all of this disruption to their traditional message of vilification for the practices of birth control and gay marital union) stand with the grand majority of Roman Catholic American nuns who have not missed the connections between these practices and the economic health of the greater society.  Gay marriage more than affords equal rights to gay couples.  It permits medical coverage,  pension and social security benefits to dependents of those marriages – benefits that parties to straight marriage accept without the blink of an eye – to which, in fact, they feel entitled.  Birth control permits reproductive responsibility in families that calculate their fiscal ability to support a family at $235,000 per child per year 0 – 17 years (not including post secondary education).

The nuns are very much part of the fabric of American life.  Their long tradition of working on the ground with children and families allows them insights that men isolated in Vatican enclaves cannot possibly appreciate.  The Nuns on the Bus are out to educate Americans – voting citizens (which Vatican officials are not) – as to the dangers inherent in the proposed Ryan budget.  Les eminences grises could learn a thing or two from them as well.  American nuns have been educating Americans for more than two hundred years.  We applaud this effort by our all-American protestant Catholic nuns.  Go Sisters!!!!!!

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Perhaps Adam and Stacy closed down Texts to Hillary a  day too soon.  While many would agree that, indeed, they closed it at its absolutely unforeseeable pinnacle, events over the past two days resulted in a situation that simply cries out for one of their meme texts.

Unless you live under a rock, you know that for many weeks Republicans in a variety of positions: Congress,  presidential campaigns, state governments, have waged a brutal war on women, specifically our right to have access to and make decisions about our own health care.  One presidential candidate has maintained that according to his wife, who regularly meets with women on the campaign trail, the economy is of concern to women and birth control … not so much.

This position ignores the elephant in the room that women’s health care is in the context of the economy, but let’s not worry about that little wrinkle.  Mitt Romney believes that this is not an issue because his wife,  Ann,  has told him so.

Yesterday, CNN consultant  Hilary Rosen  remarked on the air  that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life igniting the age-old (it seems) battle between working moms and stay-at-home moms.  So now we have a war within a war.  Now we have a war among women – again.

The meme I was thinking of had Ann texting HRC for advice on how to answer the other Hilary based on this National Journal article.

Ann Romney Tweets; What Would Hillary Do?

April 12, 2012 | 8:59 AM

You’ve come a long way, baby? Somehow the 2012 campaign has regressed  back to 1992 (some would say even decades earlier) when Hillary Clinton kicked up a storm for saying “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life.”

The perceived knock on homemakers by the Yale-trained lawyer who went on to become First Lady came to mind when Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen scoffed on CNN Wednesday that the wife of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney “has never actually worked a day in her life.” It was an insulting comment that revealed a lesson still unlearned from 1992. Work is work, whether it’s a paid office job or unpaid and generally thankless child-rearing. In a move clearly aimed at ginning up outrage among stay-at-home moms, Ann Romney joined Twitter to shoot back: “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”

Reinhard makes excellent points.  In the course of the war on women, many have cited our preponderance in the population and pointed out that this majority is under the control of the minority faction, that this 52% of the populace should pull together and grab the controls.  Why should we not have a larger voice?   Well, my sisters, that is never going to happen while there is division in the ranks.  She may not have meant to, but Hilary Rosen opened an old wound.  She has countered that her remark was not about Ann Romney but about single, working moms.

So, on second thought, perhaps it is fortunate that the meme site closed.   The last thing we need is gasoline poured on this fire.  Women need to get past this false division and focus on what unites us and is in our best interests.   We will never prevail and have control over our own destinies if we do not.

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As a little girl, I liked to play with caterpillars.  I did so very gently because they were so delicate, pretty, and harmless.  Caterpillars neither bite nor sting.  Sometimes I would put one in a jar with leaves and branches and airholes in the lid hoping, eventually, to have my own butterfly.  My mother always convinced me, at the end of the day, to free the little creature into the wild where it belonged.

My next-door neighbor, Johnny, liked to squash caterpillars or decapitate them.   I think the more horrified I was by his actions, the more fun he had doing terrible things to tiny, harmless, helpless creatures.

In denial that there is a Republican War on Women, RNC chair Reince Priebus likened that claim to “a war on caterpillars.”  What an interesting allusion!   What we women are calling “the war on women” is rooted in various stances taken by  Republican candidates for president this primary season, candidates  who would ban Planned Parenthood from public funding  and oust women from the workplace,  in tandem with actions in the Republican Congress that would limit women’s access to health care.

These extreme anti-female actions and commentaries have been compared to attitudes held by the Taliban.  Looking at the life-cycle of the lowly little caterpillar, we see some validity in the metaphor.

Eventually, the fuzzy little caterpillar winds around herself a silken shell of her own weaving, the pupa stage,  wherein she wears something akin to a burka and hangs out on a branch – forbidden to circulate in public, as it were.

Science Dictionary
pupa  (py ‘pə) Pronunciation Key
(click for larger image in new window) Plural pupae  (py ‘pē)
An insect in the nonfeeding stage of development between the larva and adult, during which it typically undergoes a complete transformation within a protective cocoon or hardened case. Only certain kinds of insects, such as moths, butterflies, ants, and beetles, develop as larvae and pupae. Compare imago, larva, nymph.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Ultimately, the lovely, and equally delicate butterfly developing inside, breaks out of her shell and flutters away – but wait not in the Taliban world.  Only in the privacy of her husband’s presence may the woman free herself of the confinement of the burka.  He rules everything about her life in much the same way the Republican men (yes, I will be specific here since Olympia Snowe  has announced the end of her congressional career in opposition) appear to want to control the lives of women from their health care options through their right to work outside the home.

Using  either an unfortunate or purposeful metaphor,  Priebus cast women into a Kafkaesque role with his remarks.  Last night I went to bed as a woman.  I woke up this morning a larva.   Is there any lower echelon to which women may be assigned?

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OH!  This is one of those moments when I so wish I could have been in that crowd. This is a great read!   Everyone knows who Chelsea and Sandra are. New Yorkers know Christine well.  She’s the one with the auburn hair who stands just behind Michael Bloomberg’s shoulder in every shot she can get into and is probably going to be the next mayor.  Nicolle Wallace?  What can I say?  Anyone who worked as hard as she did to try to get Sarah Palin to understand campaign tactics and foreign policy (or even history and geography) gets an A+ in my book!  Wish I had been there.  Fun read.  HRC  looms large,  Rosenblum notes.

10:27 am Mar. 29, 2012

It’s been more than 30 years since women began to vote in greater numbers than men in presidential elections, and four since Hillary Clinton almost became the Democratic nominee for president. 

But of course Hillary didn’t make it, and it’s going to be at least another four years before a woman is nominated by either of the major parties.

“We’re either not having the right conversation,” moderator Chelsea Clinton told the seven-woman panel and a full audience last night at the 92nd Street Y, “or we’re not being heard loudly enough, whether we’re running in heels, or flats or boots.”


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I found tweets from here on Karen Finney’s Twitter feed.  Do you have clothes you have grown or shrunk out of hanging around in your attic?  Here is a great way to share while you do your Spring cleaning!



Power of 140 Characters chance 2 help local Women’s Shelter donating 1 pair of jeans or spring dress. Tweet back 4 info

North America · http://NoStressNews.com

I almost asked for more info, but the whole point seems to be the use of Twitter.

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