September 17, 2013 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from the Huffington Post, Care2 and more.
PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH: "10 Questions Strangers Need To Stop Asking Pregnant Women," Jessica Ciencin Henriquez, Huffington Post blogs: Pregnant women "hate … forced small talk with strangers, but it seems that as long as there are pregnancies, there will be strangers demanding to know all about them," writes Henriquez. She offers insight and suggested responses regarding 10 questions that women who are pregnant are often asked, such as "Can I touch your belly?" and "How do you feel?" Henriquez concludes that because of these intrusive questions, "[Y]ou might finally be ready to take your own mother's advice: Don't talk to strangers" (Henriquez, Huffington Post blogs, 9/14).
What others are saying about pregnancy and childbirth:
~ "Pregnant in Indiana? Get Ready for Forced Drug Testing," Robin Marty, Care2.
CANCER: "Me and My Foobs: What It's Really Like Post-Mastectomy," Joanna Montgomery, Huffington Post blogs: "There's a huge misconception among the general popul[ace] about what it means to have one's breasts removed and replaced with artificial ones," writes Montgomery, who calls herself "the (proud?) owner of two brand spanking new 'foobs' (fake boobs)." She notes that many people "equate post-mastectomy reconstructed breasts with augmented breasts or 'boob jobs,'" but explains that "[n]othing could be further from the truth." Montgomery says she made the right decision for herself and her family, but notes, "I no longer walk around topless, and now tend to sleep in camisoles rather than in the buff." She adds, "I'm also somewhat shy around my husband, and am still shocked at times when I look in the mirror." Montgomery also writes that the "psychological impact" of the mastectomy was greater than the physical, noting that while she knows her body will never be the same, she is still "here, stronger and wiser for the experience" (Montgomery, Huffington Post blogs, 9/14).
What others are saying about cancer:
~ "New Study Finds Most Breast Cancer Deaths Happen in Women Who Don't Get Screened -- Should You Care?" Elaine Shattner, Huffington Post blogs.
MEDICAID: "Anti-Choice Governors Flip To Accept Medicaid Expansion," Ali Tweedt, NARAL Pro-Choice America's "Blog for Choice": "Some of the nation's most extreme anti-choice Republican governors -- who've been anything but timid about their opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [PL 111-148] on political grounds -- are changing their tune about expanding health insurance to millions of low-income residents in their states now that the ACA is becoming a reality" and they can no longer "ignore the benefits," Tweedt writes. She applauds Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's (R) decision to expand Medicaid under the ACA, making him one of 11 other Republican governors who have placed "the health and well-being of their constituents" above "their own political ideology." Tweedt writes that it is particularly gratifying to see these governors expand Medicaid because while "implementing health-care coverage for low-income families is a no brainer" for most people, "many anti-choice governors" prioritize politics over health care. "[S]tate officials who continue to play politics with peoples' health and reproductive choices will face the consequences when the elections roll around again," she predicts (Tweedt, "Blog for Choice," NARAL Pro-Choice America, 9/16).
ABORTION: "Meet the Last Four Doctors Who Perform Late Term Abortion in After Tiller," Amanda Marcotte, Slate's "XX Factor": A new documentary that follows "the four remaining doctors in the country who perform third trimester abortions after the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009" illuminates the "wide variety of experiences that tend to get lumped together under the word 'abortion,'" Marcotte writes. She writes that the word "invokes a very specific and narrow image in most people's minds" of a woman "who doesn't want to have a baby" simply undergoing a "quick procedure to take care of it." After Tiller, however, dispels the idea that women who have abortions later in pregnancy "decided to dawdle ... out of stupidity or malice," instead showing how the women "very much wanted to have their babies but, after getting a horrific diagnosis of serious fetal abnormalities, decided to terminate," Marcotte notes. Adding that abortions under those circumstances are "much more like having to take a dying family member off life support than ... a failsafe for when the contraception didn't work," Marcotte writes that After Tiller will hopefully "go a small way" toward improving how the term "abortion" obscures women's varied experiences with the procedure (Marcotte, "XX Factor," Slate, 9/16).
What others are saying about abortion:
~ "7 Lies CPCs Tell Women To Scare Them out of Abortion," Tweedt, NARAL Pro-Choice America's "Blog for Choice."
ADOLESCENT HEALTH: "The Vulgar Face of Purity Culture," Anne Almasy, Huffington Post blogs: Responding to a recent online piece "written by a mother to her sons' female friends on Facebook," Almasy writes, "The core of purity culture was that my mind didn't matter, my personality didn't matter, my dreams and desires and goals didn't matter -- if my shorts were too short." She notes that after growing up with so-called "'purity teaching'" she "can only see the flaws in this approach," which "is so damaging, so harmful, and so dreadfully one-sided." She writes, "So, while [the mother] is defining for her sons exactly what 'bad' women are, I hope there are parents out there emphasizing for their sons and daughters exactly what 'real' women are. We are strong (or not). We are smart (or still learning). We are silly, and we are serious. We are spiritual (perhaps). We are sexual (always, never, sometimes). We are just like her sons. We are people" (Almasy, Huffington Post blogs, 9/16).
HIV: "Three Students Got Kicked Out of an Arkansas Public School Because They Might Be HIV-Positive," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": "Despite significant medical advances that help HIV-positive Americans live increasingly longer and healthier lives, many people still have widespread misconceptions about how the virus is actually spread," Culp-Ressler writes in response to news that a "public school district in Arkansas has removed three siblings from school because administrators suspect they may be infected with HIV." She notes that school officials at Pea Ridge Public School District barred the children from coming to school "until they provided proof that they don't have the virus," and the Disability Rights Center of Arkansas "is accusing the school district of illegally discriminating against the children." Culp-Ressler adds that a "lack of education has contributed to a pervasive stigma surrounding HIV -- and a reluctance to integrate HIV-positive individuals with other people who don't have the virus." She concludes, "Ultimately, that type of stigmatization only helps [maintain] the epidemic by hampering HIV prevention and outreach efforts" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 9/16).