I am so excited! I just bought a Trust Women silver pin for my white coat! I opted to donate to the organizations listed, including one I belong to and one of my personal favorites, Medical Students For Choice. I can’t wait to wear it!
Well, I almost missed it, but I am squeaking in with a Blog for Choice Day post at literally the last minutes of the day.
This is the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In order to commemorate this, NARAL has asked:
Given the anti-choice gains in the states and Congress, are you concerned about choice in 2011?
Yes, I am concerned, but not just because of the recent elections. Midterm elections tend to go against the party who holds the presidency. This one was no exception. But, what does have me concerned is the incessant drumbeat of anti-choice legislation. And now, HR 3 of this session in the House of Representatives is called No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Even though directives voted in by the same legislative body on Thursday said they want to overhaul the health care reform proposal to “lower health care premiums through increased competition and choice” and “greater flexibility”, this competition, choice and flexibility does not include what the majority of private plans cover. It does not include the most common surgical procedure in the United States. It does not include what is the medical choice of 30% of the women in our country at some point in their reproductive lives.
It’s not just the Tea Partiers who were elected who are responsible for this. The Stupak-Pitts amendment already made abortion coverage illegal in the new law unless the mother is “in danger of death”, or the pregnancy was due to rape or incest. If private insurance plans covered abortion, the amendment made sure none of the subsidies could go toward this coverage. Private insurance companies were told they had to get a separate check from customers, or cut the coverage from their plans.
And, after this victory, the anti-choice lobby still thinks that HR 3 needs to address this?
Yup. I’m concerned. I am concerned that controlling woman’s bodies is such an important political football that it keeps stealing center stage. There is no interest in preventing unplanned pregnancies. New proposed spending cuts would hack hundreds of millions of dollars from Title X funding for contraception. There are also more anti-choice suggestions afoot – proposals that there needs to be insurances in the exchanges that don’t offer contraception (labelled as more “virtuous” choices – what??) and legislation pending that would keep organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide contraception and abortions from getting any government associated reimbursement for any non-abortion activity, like providing contraception.
This is not an effort to decrease abortion. I am concerned that such blatant anti-choice, anti-woman activities can be floated as reasonable, and that the pro-choice politicians seem to think this is a difficult political argument to win.
Again I find myself apologizing for the blog silence. There are a few reasons I have been quiet.
First of all, my ex has been reading my posts and complaining to players in our divorce about what I write on here. So, I am not writing more about our divorce on here.
Secondly, I have been pretty busy. I have been doing the holiday thing with the kids, family and friends. I did get a few days off work. I am actually pretty happy to get back. I am enjoying pulmonology, and may look into doing a 4th year elective with the same attending physician. I am getting pretty good at ABGs.
I am not so good at EKGs. I did a module on EKGs using this ECG Wave-Maven, and I am really confused by a 5:4 AV Wenkebach. I could spot the MI’s, which is a relief, I guess.
So, there is more stuff I wish I had the energy to talk about. Mtv had an episode of “16 and Pregnant” called No Easy Decision in which one of the teen moms gets pregnant again, and decides to terminate the pregnancy. I have not seen it, but I think there are actually three young women who discuss choosing abortion. From what I have heard, it is a well put together show. Exhale has put together a site called 16 and loved that supports her coming forward with her story.
California Watch published a report entitled “As early elective births increase so do health risks for mother, child”. Thanks to Jill at The Unnecesarean for covering this.
CNN had an article on CNN.com called “Mom defies doctor, has baby her way” about a woman who had a home birth VBA3C (vaginal delivery after 3 cesareans). She was alternately painted as reckless and also as having no other option. How is a woman supposed to have a VBAC in a facility “with staff immediately available to provide emergency care” if practitioners who deliver in these facilities refuse to attend VBACs?
Anyway, I’m back, at least for the time being. I hope my son’s guardian doesn’t tell me he got an earful about my blog again. I am not airing all of our dirty laundry on here. Believe it or not, this is reticence.
Sungold has a great post up at Kittywampus about the little known use of the copper IUD as emergency contraception. I wrote a reply, and figured I would share it here:
No one seems familiar with this whenever I bring it up, and that includes ob/gyn clinicians. In the US, IUDs are supposed to be just as acceptable to insert in nulliparous (never had a baby) women as parous (has had a baby) women. As Sungold pointed out, that is not the reality for all women. I was actually told by my ob/gyn that I wasn’t a good candidate, even though I had already had a baby, because I was divorced. (!!)
According to a midwife who taught me about birth control, the reason why IUDs were not recommended for nulliarous women were because so many of them successfully sued over the Dalkon shield. The company had to pay a much higher settlement to women who never got to have children due to their injuries than they did to those who already had children. The indications for the newer IUDs, including the copper T, originally said the ideal candidates were parous women, but that is no longer the case. New recommendations say that pretty much any woman who does not have active pelvic inflammatory disease is a good candidate.
The Dalkon shield was a completely untested, unresearched, unregulated piece of scrap metal. The copper IUD is a much more carefully created and substantiated device. It has a higher rate of continuance of use than any other form of birth control. Not only do I have an IUD, but the IUD is an incredibly popular form of birth control among female ob/gyns I have very unscientifically surveyed.
The main issue I can see with using IUDs as emergency contraception is that the standard of care is to screen for and treat STDs, particularly gonorrhea and chlamydia, before insertion. With conventional screening, time for results, and then treatment if necessary, you are probably running over the 5 day window. So, even if USian practitioners were comfortable with using the IUD as emergency birth control theoretically, this protocol may be a barrier.