Aug 242008
 

Ladies, raise your hand if you’ve ever received affordable healthcare of any sort at a Planned Parenthood Clinic anywhere in the country! The vast majority of those of us with our hands up didn’t go seeking anything to do with an abortion, which may come as a surprise to those who associate the organization with abortion services and nothing else. Planned Parenthood of Ohio is trying to spread the word about the diverse range of services they offer. Allow me to share some of my experiences with PP on both sides of the reception desk after the jump.

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Aug 032008
 

The Guttmacher Institute, an important source of and funder for sexuality research, recently released a summary of their research on the benefits of publicly-funded family planning services. Seven million women are served by such funding every year, and it is estimated that the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions has been cut in HALF by these services! WOW! The report offers an expanse of data and statistics in a highly readable form, providing even more evidence that the current administration is crazy for attempting to put all birth control (not just publicly-funded efforts) in danger.

Source article – here

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Jul 242008
 
Pills - Defend em or Lose em

Pills - Defend 'em or Lose 'em

In a response to the events I wrote about in my last post, 104 members of the House have written to Bush, asking him to “halt all action.” The policy in question is an effort to define FDA-approved birth control methods (like The Pill) as abortion, making it possible to severely limit access to them as well as funding. While the proposal by The Department of Human and Health Services is worded to sound like merely a protection against those who would mistreat pro-lifers, the effects clearly go far beyond the abortion debate. The National Partnership for Women and Families has been all over this issue, and does a fantastic job giving us the updated details and summaries. This issue still needs your action, so please send read up and send those emails.

**UPDATE***

28 Senators, including Obama, sent a similar letter to the HHS Secretary calling on him to halt the silly (yet scary) proposal. Senator Clinton was one of two who started the letter, and no Republicans signed it.

More info – here

NPWF’s most recent update – here

ABD New’s report – here

U.S. News & World Report’s article – here

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Jul 222008
 

I try not to see Bush, but sometimes I have to peek. The post ends on a positive, proactive note, I promise.

The end of a presidency is a simultaneously uneventful and dangerous time, as the chief is ignored when he wants attention, and also when he doesn’t. So, it is no surprise that requests for presidential pardons are on the rise, nor am I shocked to hear that Bush is seeking to sneak through some spectacularly backward regulations on birth control. He must be buddying up with the Pope over in Australia.

At this point we all know that we cannot stop others from having sex. Heck, why would we want to? I don’t want to stop; in fact, I would like you to step away from your screen and have a little fun right now. Or stay where you’re sitting, if that’s your thing. I’m also wise enough to know that many adolescents and adults will not resist the many urges to get a little closer, although some do. I digress (constantly). So, how do we keep a significant number of unwanted pregnancies from occurring? We make contraceptives available and usable, especially when preventative care is not only a good idea but the only care available to women and children. Women have always sought abortions, with recipes and techniques available in ancient cultures around the world. This is highly unlikely to change, but we can impact the numbers in either direction. Whether we’re pro-life or pro-choice, we all agree that not getting pregnant in the first place is the best option.

So why are Bush and his lemmings seeking to increase the need for abortions by denying preventative care in the form of birth control? Heck if I know why, but I can tell you what:

According to an email sent by Marilyn Keefe, Director of Reproductive Health for the reputable National Partnership for Women & Families, “Under the guise of clarifying existing federal laws that allow health professionals to refuse to provide abortion services, the HHS draft regulations redefine abortion to include commonly used, FDA-approved methods of contraception, such as birth control pills and IUDs.”

He isn’t just seeking it, it has been happening throughout his term.

The National Partnership for Women & Families also reports on an opinion piece in The Guardian by Sarah Wildman. According to her, and her many sources, our nation has stopped huge amounts of essential condoms and pregnancy prevention funding from going to the most vulnerable people in impoverished areas of Africa and other areas around the world. This has been done in the name of the Global Gag Rule, which started under Reagan, was stopped under Clinton, and is now back under Bush Jr. The policy was designed to discourage abortion services, and has resulted in increased back alley abortions and decreased options for preventing undesired pregnancy. Great thinking.

So now we’re facing a new level of this sort of brilliance in our nation, as well. News sources and bloggers across the country are raising the flag and calling for action. The National Partnership for Women & Families has made it downright easy to speak up by offering you a pre-fab letter to click on. It will take you far less time than reading this has, so click on over. Heck, if people in Australia can get together to toss condoms at the Pope, you can send an email. I know, it won’t be as fun, but I will email you a photo of me tossing a condom at someone if you email or leave a comment informing me that you have been a good citizen and emailed or called. I do what I can for you because I care.

Here at Exploring Intimacy we’re dedicated to pleasurable sexuality. In order to achieve this it is necessary to begin with a groundwork of affordable, available and high-quality sexual health services. Furthermore, national and local governments must safeguard women’s and family’s rights against any threats to their survival such as physical and emotional neglect or harm. The good news? There is time to act up and stop it with less effort than it probably took you to find this blog post. Remember, these efforts won’t work unless you do.

Email activism – here

Articles on this topic – here and here

Condom throwing in Australia – here

Great resource for Christians, UUs and others with a religious stance in favor of preventative reproductive health options – here

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