Tag Archives | Birth Control

Tightening The ‘Screws’ On Contraception

Many of us have become aware of the illusion of progress that we seem to be mired in.  It has seemed of late that even our most politically stable personal rights have become targets for those who want to take us a couple years back in time when moral authority was dictated by a monolithic religious hierarchy and people lived in fear of being burned at the stake for thinking or behaving differently.  It would be nice to think that something as sensible and useful for public health like contraception would be off limits to these throwback inquisitors, but no.

It’s not just about not getting pregnant, it’s about telling you that your have no right to put your tab A into another person’s slot B unless the two of your are held within the holy confines of marriage.

Let me get personal here, I was a student at a Pentecostal College where a no-intercourse rule was strictly enforced.… Read the rest

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Santorum’s Backer On Birth Control

Wondering why most people find the 1950s-style social conservatism of the Republican Party incredibly creepy? As the GOP party mounts a national campaign to roll back access to contraception, Foster Friess, a 71-year-old billionaire businessman who is Rick Santorum's biggest financial backer, unveils his jaw-dropping joke prescription for women's (or rather "gals' ") healthcare on MSNBC:
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The Glaring Omissions Of iPhone’s Siri

Apple’s new iPhone 4S has made waves for its voice-commanded virtual assistant, personified as “Siri”. However, users have noticed that Siri seems to have a blackout concerning certain topics — is Apple pandering to the Christian Right? Via Amadi Talks:

The recent illustrations of Siri, the iPhone 4S voice-recognition based assistant, failing to provide information to users about abortion, birth control, help after rape and help with domestic violence has gotten a lot of notice.

Siri can answer a lot of health related questions perfectly well, why shouldn’t we expect it to be able to answer reproductive health related queries too? Why treat reproductive health as a walled-off garden that the general public can’t or shouldn’t be exposed to?

siri

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Texas GOP Representative Declares ‘War On Birth Control’

Wayne Christian - TEXASThe Texas Republican Party is engaged in a far-reaching and sustained “war on birth control”. No, that’s not the teaser from a Planned Parenthood press release — it’s the  pronouncement of (aptly named) state legislator Wayne Christian. Creepiest war ever. Via Think Progress:

When The Texas Tribune asked state Rep. Wayne Christian (R-Nacogdoches), a supporter of the family planning cuts, if this was a war on birth control, he said “yes.”

“Well of course this is a war on birth control and abortions and everything, that’s what family planning is supposed to be about,” Christian said.

While disturbing, Christian’s honesty is a refreshing change from Republicans’ more common defense that cuts to women’s health care will save money. As NPR notes, the state estimates that 300,000 women will lose access to family planning services because of these cuts, resulting in roughly 20,000 additional unplanned births. “Texas already spends $1.3 billion on teen pregnancies — more than any other state.”

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U.S. Approves Free Birth Control For Women

Photo: Ceridwen (CC)

Photo: Ceridwen (CC)

It’s a good time to be a woman. Via Reuters:

U.S. health insurance companies must offer women free birth control and other preventive health care services under Obama administration rules released on Monday, a historic decision supported by family planning groups and opposed by conservative groups.

The rules from the Health and Human Services Department are part of the nation’s healthcare overhaul and largely follow recommendations from an advisory group released last month.

The U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, commissioned by the Obama administration, recommended that all U.S.-approved birth control methods — including the “morning-after pill,” taken shortly after intercourse to stop a pregnancy — be added to the list of preventive health services.

[Continues at Reuters]

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Male Birth Control Pill On The Horizon

Male Birth ControlReports LiveScience via MNN:

Equality for men may be on the horizon — contraceptive equality, that is. For more than a half century, women have been able to pop a pill to prevent pregnancy, but a pharmaceutical alternative has never emerged for men.

Now, research to interfere with the body’s ability to use vitamin A is showing some promise, because, in men, vitamin A is necessary for the production of sperm.

One recent study found that a compound that interferes with the body’s ability to use vitamin A rendered male mice sterile while they were receiving 8- or 16-week courses. But once the mice were taken off the compound, they resumed making sperm. Significantly, the researchers found no side effects, and the testosterone levels of the mice stayed normal, meaning no fluctuations in mousey libido.

“Our mice, they mate quite happily, so that is not something we have interfered with,” said Debra Wolgemuth, one of the study researchers and a professor of genetics and development at Columbia University Medical Center.

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Indonesia’s Plant-Based Birth Control Pill for Men

GandarusaWhile the U.S. progress lags, Indonesia readies a male contraception pill. Patrick Winn writes on Global Post:

On the remote Indonesian island of Papua, tribesmen have long noticed the curious effect of a shrub called “gandarusa.”

If you chew its leaves often enough, men say, your wife won’t get pregnant. Indonesian scientists, who have transferred this folk method from the jungle to the lab, claim they can extract the shrub’s active ingredient and mass produce it as an over-the-counter pill.

If they’re right, they will accomplish what Western pharmaceutical giants have researched but failed to deliver for decades: a birth control pill for men.

“With luck, it could be released late this year, but it will probably be sold in stores early next year,” said Sugiri Syarief, the head of Indonesia’s state-run National Family Planning Coordination Board. Researchers began analyzing gandarusa in 1988, Sugiri said. Animal and human trials began in the 1990s and the plant’s effective compound was patented in 2007.

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Charity Group Pays Drug Addicts To Use Birth Control

714px-Ortho_tricyclenInstead of paying their way into rehab, Projective Prevention decided that spending money on birth control was a better choice. BBC reports:

A US charity says it has paid 26 female drug addicts in Britain to have contraceptive implants or coils fitted.

Project Prevention told BBC Radio 5 live it had given the women initial payments of £60 and a UK charity now wanted to trial a similar scheme.

The charity had controversially offered to pay addicts £200 to be sterilised when it launched in the UK in October.

But it has now said no women took up that offer because the British Medical Association did not back the proposal.

Instead, the charity said, it is focusing on paying addicts to use birth control.

[Continues at BBC]

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Rwanda To Run Vasectomy Campaign To Curb Population Growth

Rwanda soilders singing anti-AIDS songs. All soilders are counseled and tested for HIV.

Photo: Rwanda soilders singing anti-AIDS songs. All soilders are counseled and tested for HIV.

An interesting tactic in controlling population growth, but how does one come up with a slogan for a campaign supporting both vasectomies and HIV prevention? Stop the spread of disease and babies? BBC News reports:

Rwanda’s government has said it wants to encourage men to have vasectomies in a bid to stem the small landlocked country’s growing population.

It would be done along with its HIV prevention campaign to encourage all men to be circumcised.

Health officials would take the opportunity to talk to men about the birth-control method at the same time.

A BBC reporter in Rwanda says vasectomies are uncommon in the country and the move may meet resistance.

[Continues at BBC News]

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