Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Miscellanea

Remember that one time I ranted about how separating abortion services from all other medical services further stigmatizes abortion and the women who need abortions, and makes abortion clinics a highly visible target for hateful anti-abortion protesters? Well, I didn't either until I read this article in NYT Magazine about a growing effort to bring abortion services back into a mainstream medical context. According to this article:
The bold idea at the heart of this effort is to integrate abortion so that it’s a seamless part of health care for women — embraced rather than shunned.
So it turns out that my irritated rant was actually a bold idea - that we should provide services for all aspects of women's reproductive care in the same place with the same healthcare professionals as if it were all just the exact same kind of thing. Because it is.

Other items in the "good news" category include the fact that illegal rain forest logging has been significantly reduced thanks to the efforts of local governments, activists, NGOs, and entities in the private sector. And by "significant" we mean 50-75% which is really...significant. So yay for actually seeing change in the world as a result of a lot of hard work and consciousness-raising! I cut my 16 y/o activist teeth in the Rainforest Action Network, so I'll always have a soft spot for the cause.

In the "stupid shit the Vatican did this week" category we have the papal pronouncement that ordaining women is the moral equivalent to molesting children and then lying about it. Tim Padgett has some interesting thoughts on this development from an insider perspective:
When any institution is as convinced of its own moral infallibility as the Catholic Church is, it tends to lash out at criticism — especially charges as serious as the priestly rape of children — with Dostoevskian paranoia. And the church then fortifies its less popular stances, like an all-male priesthood or the condemnation of gays, becoming even more uncompromising. Most Catholics, according to polls in the U.S. and abroad, support women's ordination; but the Church peevishly views that trend as an insidious sub-agenda of its sexual abuse accusers. Hence last week's astonishing aside from Rome that both female priests and pedophilia are graviora delicta, or grave crimes.
Read more here: The Vatican and Women: Casting the First Stone.

And finally, I've been thinking a lot about the way we construct the experience of addiction, as well as the often-contradictory narratives that surround addiction, in our culture. So this article: Does Teen Drug Rehab Cure Addiction or Create It? is both timely and will likely spur a more in-depth post on some of my recent thoughts about our cultural scripts concerning addiction. Of course, in the case of teen rehab programs you often have the further complicating issues of the way we do prison and juvenile detention in our culture, which is a clusterfuck all its own. So that puts teen rehab programs at an interesting crossroads of strange and often counterproductive cultural narratives and practices, now doesn't it?


  1. Anonymous7/19/2010

    Damn, it's like they were quoting you in that article on abortion services - especially the "seamlessly integrating" part.

    I suspect this has a lot to do with insurance coverage too. It just pays better to only provide services that are covered under most insurance plans, which abortion is not.

  2. Minerva7/19/2010

    Well, it may well be an insurance issue, but if that's the case then they're incredibly hypocritical to call themselves "reproductive health" clinics. They should label themselves "women's reproductive health services but only the ones that your insurance will pay for" clinics. Be honest already.

  3. Lizzay7/19/2010

    I think this is probably true, because most ob/gyns will do a D&C after you've had a miscarriage which is basically the exact same thing as an abortion (which Rachel mentioned in that first post). A D&C after a miscarriage is covered by insurance, of course.

  4. Anonymous7/19/2010

    Wow. The Catholic church just seems to get more and more out of touch with the world. It's a PR disaster, and a wonder they can survive.

  5. Anonymous,

    They need to hire a PR firm to stop the damage, and then a little "rebranding" will be needed to distract us all from their former idiocy.