ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: reproductive health

Weight, What? How Fatphobia Impacts Reproductive Care

uterus

Fatphobia, the institutional bias against plus-size bodies, is rampant in the way we view ourselves and each other. Popular culture depicts the slim woman, (size 6 at most) as normal, despite sizes 16-18 being the true average women’s size in the US. Anyone outside this cultural norm or skinniness is deemed undesirable—as literally taking up too much space in society. This can be seen in the othering and separation of plus size clothing or models, the cultural obsession with dieting and weight loss products, and the fetishization or degradation of fat women on social media. Everywhere we look, we are flooded with false messaging telling us that to be fat is to be different and unwanted. Fatphobia is perhaps at its most harmful when it influences healthcare. Weight bias in… Read more »

We Are Gay & We Are Pregnant: How Unpregnant Combats the Stigmas Surrounding Abortions

***SPOILERS MENTIONED. This past weekend, while in my humble dorm room eating a bag of frozen cotton candy grapes, I decided to start my 7-day free trial on HBO and watch the recently released movie Unpregnant starring Barbie Ferreira and Haley Lu Richardson. I remember quite vividly when the trailer first came out and based on my initial reaction and Twitter’s; I thought I had an idea of what type of movie I’d soon be watching; another coming of age film that’s centered around teen white girls.  And yes, it was precisely just that. But I wasn’t entirely disappointed. In this movie, we follow 17-year-old Veronica (played by Haley lu Richardson,) as she and her friend, Bailey (played by Barbie Ferreria), travel across state lines to the nearest abortion clinic…. Read more »

The Science Behind The Copper IUD: How Does Metal Work for Birth Control?

  Most forms of birth control, in terms of understanding how they work, are fairly straightforward. Barrier methods like diaphragms and condoms physically prevent sperm from entering the uterus, and hormonal methods like birth control pills, NuvaRings, and Nexplanon administer dosages of hormones that disrupt ovulation. But there’s an outlier in the BC field: PARAGARD, also known as the copper IUD. It is different from its other T-shaped counterparts because it does not contain any hormones; copper is the contraceptive in this product. How does copper actually work to prevent pregnancy? Is this method as reliable as its hormone-based peers, like other IUDs and the Nexplanon implant? Medical mechanisms In a mechanism of action report by CooperSurgical, the company that makes the copper IUD, the pharmacology behind this birth control… Read more »

Innovations by Women are the Future of Reproductive Health

With the rise of women worldwide entering STEM fields, more and more modern-day innovations are created by women and girls. We are also seeing more businesses run by women, creating new products and enhancing old products for other women and female-bodied people. Female innovators in every field are important, and their contributions to society are valuable. In particular, women and other people creating great products that positively impact reproductive health are critical, and should be celebrated. First, look at LOLA. It’s a company that sells “tampons and pads by women, for women.” Their products are different because LOLA is straightforward with what materials they’re using; for example, their tampons are 100% cotton. LOLA’s founders, Jordana and Alex, came up with the idea for their product by considering a simple question:… Read more »

We Need To Talk About The Maternal Mortality Rate In Texas

The Lone Star State is known for making legislative decisions that negatively impact reproductive health. From withdrawing Planned Parenthood from HIV testing programs, closing abortion providers , and cutting funding to health programs, the state has created unsafe atmosphere for reproductive health. Texans are dying of pregnancy-related ailments at a higher rate than the rest of the country and even most other industrialized countries. Black women in Texas account for 30% of maternal deaths and Hispanic women in Texas make up 31% of maternal deaths. The Texas legislature have used laws and policies to create a grim reality for women living in Texas. In rural regions of the state, Texans live without a nearby abortion provider and experience long waiting times at local health departments to receive medical treatment and services. Instead the state gives… Read more »

My Premature Birth and Pro-Choice Activism Are Not at Odds

In my final semester of college, I had to make a film. With my degree in sight and 16 years of academic struggle and achievement behind me, I decided to make it about the people who made it all possible: my parents. I told the story of my parents’ decade-long struggle to have a child to the heads of the television and film department at my school, won a grant, and was on a flight home to surprise my parents in no time, camera in hand. After a few weeks’ work, I had this: I posted my little film online frequently, wanting my parents’ story to be seen, wanting to honor them, wanting to thank them. I imagine that pausing my usual stream of statuses and links about reproductive justice… Read more »

Stop Telling Me What to Do

This is an open letter to men (and women) everywhere. Stop telling me what to do. I’m so tired of seeing posts all over social media telling women what to do. Stop bullying me and trying to force me into becoming a girl who hates herself. Each comment you make is like a double-edged sword in my side. I don’t need you to tell me that if I wear too much make-up that I’m fake or trying too hard then, in same the breath, tell me that if I’m not wearing any make-up that I’m lazy or don’t try hard enough. Meanwhile, in both cases you make the argument “If only girls could love themselves and appreciate their beauty.” How the hell do you expect us to love ourselves when you’re… Read more »

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Can Improve the Workforce

We know far too well that discrimination comes in many shapes and forms, and too often it happens to pregnant people in the workforce. All over the country, people are being denied jobs because they are expecting or losing their jobs while pregnant because of a lack of accommodations. Earlier this week the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act got its first briefing on the Hill; this is huge. The legislation would help curb the discrimination against pregnant employees in the workforce. People who are pregnant sometimes lose their jobs because their employers are not willing to make the necessary accommodations for them. Companies are treating pregnant people as disposable,  and this bill is a much needed step to ending this common and unfair practice. There are several parts of the bill that… Read more »

My Personal is Political (But Not Too Personal)

I’m a very private person. Like, exceedingly private. People describe me as reserved, even if I’m feeling really social. If I took one of those online personality quizzes, I’d get the “silent but judging you” result, but you’d never know because I’d never share it on Facebook. Being a proud introvert can make being a woman who writes about reproductive justice difficult. Because if you take a look around the vast world of feminist blogging, you’ll notice that sharing intimate details of our daily lives is assumed to be a prerequisite to getting exposure. This approach rests on the faulty logic that to convince someone that being a woman in society can be difficult, uncomfortable, and demoralizing we have to expose personal experiences. Being a feminist blogger shouldn’t require that… Read more »

Your Cervix Is Beautiful, according to this organization

Have you ever wanted to see just what your stomach looked like? Or your heart? Or liver? What about your cervix? Not a lot of people know about the fundamental functions or appearance of their reproductive organs — I didn’t know what a prostate did until I was well into college, knowing until then only that it was something that can end up cancerous. Unlike the digestive system, and the circulatory system, or even the nervous system, rarely do we get briefed on the inner workings of the reproductive system beyond the function of the sperm and the egg (if that at all). The cervix is one such organ that people may have never seen. In some circles, it is viewed like the prostate: generally something that exists gives you… Read more »