Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Black (not gay) in America

So I haven't seen CNN's Black in America. I probably won't watch it because it'll just end up making me angry. This always happens when a mainstream group sets out to create the definitive piece on a large group of people that isn't monolithic. One of the best criticisms of the the series was on The Bilerico Project today. The writer, H. Alexander Robinson, points out that they experience presented by the series came from a largely straight perspective:
In almost every segment there was an opportunity to bring Black gay men, lesbian women, bisexuals and transgender men and women into the discussion.

Yet there was nothing, not even a suggestion that we exist.

He also starts with a great W.E.B. Du Bois quote, "How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word. And yet, being a problem is a strange experience,--peculiar even for one who has never been anything else." It's hard to include all perspectives when you set out on such a project like Black in America, but it seems that there was little thought into anything other than a very specific perspective.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

I loved the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books. They were fun youth fiction that were all about girls and their friends. Of course, they included a lot of obsessing about boys, but the boys popped in and out of the books while the focus remained on the girls. What's more, the four friends face real problems: being the child of immigrant parents, dealing with divorce, the death of a parent, and relating to siblings.

So I was stoked when I realized the second movie based on Sister of the Traveling Pants books will be released in the next couple of weeks. It seems clear, though that the second movie is actually based mostly on the last book, the one I found weakest in the series. Ann Brashares, while brilliant at portraying the awkward teenage years, seems less good at portraying the early grownup years. Much of what went on in the last book seemed overmuch. Her portrayal of Tibby's attitude about sex was appalling. Rather than responding to her first sexual experience in a positive way, the character feels as if she's ruined herself and pushes her boyfriend away.

Regardless, I'm excited to see the next move, even if it's focused on the book I like the least. The first movie helped launch the careers of Blake Lively ("Gossip Girl") and America Ferrera ("Ugly Betty"). Hopefully Ferrera will stop her needless shrinking.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pointing Out Flaws

Kate Sheppard has a great piece that aggregates a lot of information about how McCain is bad for women:

But the suggestion that women — and feminist women, at that — will be lining up behind him is a fairytale. At least, it should be. McCain’s record and policies on issues of importance to women are neither moderate nor maverick.

In The Nation, Katha Pollitt put it simply: “[T]o vote for McCain, a feminist would have to be insane.”

It's worth it to read the whole thing.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Treating PTSD in the Field

The Army is trying a new approach to treating PTSD, according to a story today by McClatchy. After soldiers witness a traumatizing incident they speak with a doctor one to three days after the incident, something called Critical Incident Debrief (CID). They're basically asked to relate what happened during the incident -- right down to their feelings. The Army is starting to treat PTSD as a normal response to an abnormal experience, and they recognize the value in treating PTSD. Apparently it's cheaper to treat it than to recruit and train a new soldier. I'd also argue there's something of a moral imperative to help the person you put in a fucked up situation.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Asking About 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Today the House Armed Services committee is taking the time to discuss 'don't ask, don't tell.' The policy that was enacted under Clinton has become less and less popular over the last 15 years. I have a piece up at Comment is Free about it today. Check it out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Is Cindy McCain "Perfect"?

The Washington Post has a profile of Cindy McCain by Libby Copeland today. The article does a good job of describing her as apparently everything a president’s wife should be: demure, shy, “half-apologetic,” and “perfect.” Yes, they literally used the words “perfect” and “perfection” to describe her.

But a presidential candidate’s spouse that’s shy and uncomfortable speaking in public, might more often be viewed that as a liability and not an asset. But regardless of whether or not “perfection” is defined by impeccable manners, riding horses, and studying dance, it seems that that’s only one way that someone can be perfect. That version of perfection is rooted in antiquated stereotypes about how women should be quiet, speak when spoken to, and never express an opinion too loudly (if at all).

Cindy McCain’s version of perfection reeks of days gone by. A friend is quoted in the article as saying, “She told me many times that she wanted to be the perfect wife and mother.” There’s nothing wrong with making family a priority in life, but her sheer use of the word perfection suggests that such a thing actually exists. By holding herself to such a standard (unfortunately, a lot of women still believe that they can and will be perfect wives and mothers) she surely lives a very miserable life. With all that pressure of attaining “perfection,” McCain must be exhausted.

The article has very little dirt on McCain (perhaps due to a lack of reporting — I thought the rule when you were writing a profile is that you had to find at least one person that was willing to say something bad about your subject). Perhaps the author was trying to contrast McCain’s persona against her prescription drug addiction and clearly fraught marriage to John, but Copeland really does oversell the perfection bit. McCain obviously isn’t perfect. No one is. I think if Copeland had acknowledged that, the profile might have been less annoying and more realistic.

Cross posted on pushback.

More on Lilly Ledbetter

Today my first column is posted over at RH Reality Check. I went down to report on fair pay rally that was down at the Capitol last week (in attendance were Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Lilly Ledbetter herself), but mostly it's an analysis of the candidate's economic plans for women (short version: McCain doesn't really have one):

"This is not just a women's issue," Clinton said. "This is a family issue." Clinton may as well have been speaking about a broad set of economic concerns. Pay discrimination, sick leave, the minimum wage and childcare are all economic issues that may not just affect women, but families more broadly.

After a long Democratic primary battle that was heavily tinged with disputes over women's issues, both parties' candidates seem to be making bids for the Clinton supporters through their economic plans.

As I've said before, Obama's plan is largely an adaptation of a larger economic plan for all workers. But what's good for women tends to be good for families and others. In any case, you should go over to RH Reality Check and read the whole thing.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Marriage Game

Jesse wrote a lengthy post attempting to debunk Courtney Martin's piece in TAP today and Dylan Matthews wrote a long post on TAPPED debunking Jesse's post. It seems that when you talk about the legitimacy of marriage, you strike a nerve.

Marriage is entrenched in a lot of stereotypes and bad connotations across the board. Jesse's argument that we're past the bad things in marriage doesn't really do justice to the fact that for a really long time, marriage has been reinforcing patriarchal culture. This of course is less of a problem for men in heterosexual partnerships than it is for women. Couples that co-habitate tend to see a sharp spike in the women's share of domestic duty and a lag in men's share. This affects couples that live together and aren't married as well, but there are a lot of things about making it legal that reinforce the old stereotypes about the happy homemaker housewife in very subtle ways. The bottom line is that the interpersonal sexual politics of relationships are really tricky to navigate.

Coincidentally, I'm actually reading Stephanie Coontz's Marriage, A History, which debunks a lot of the notions about what marriage "should" be. Basically she examines every assumption we have about marriage today and finds one (or many) societies that just never adhered to that notion of marriage. Marriages have a lot of polygamy, racism, sexism, diplomatic, and social structure histories that show the definition of marriage has changed vastly over time. Furthermore, marriage tends to reflect the values we hold in society.

Every time I get into an argument at a bar about how women shouldn't have to take their husband's names when they get married, I realize that the tradition of marriage is a highly personal thing, even if the implications of the definition of marriage have a much broader impact. For whatever reason, marriage in America today tends to be, on the whole, highly sexist and homophobic still, even if a lot of the taboos about inter-racial marriages have been shrugged off. The reason for this is because American society is still largely sexist and homophobic. Just because it's 2008 doesn't mean those things have stopped existing in society.

In short, Martin is right to be wary of an institution with such historically awful implications. But Jesse is also right that we can remake marriage into something that's more egalitarian if we want to. The problem is that we have to make society as a whole more egalitarian. Both of those things are pretty hard to accomplish.

Clinton Against the HHS Rule

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed to fight the Bush administration's attempt to pass really really bad policy that would redefine contraception as abortion and give protection to doctors and other health professionals that refuse to treat women because of their religious beliefs. It's unclear if this proposed regulation will actually make it to policy before Bush's clock runs out, but it's clear that the very proposal is an affront to the whole idea of a woman's right to decide what do do with her body.

Over at RH Reality Check today, Clinton has an op-ed in which she says this is nothing new, and she's going to fight the regulation. " The Bush Administration is up to its old tricks again, quietly putting ideology before science and women's health," Clinton said. "We've seen this kind of ideologically driven move from the Bush Administration before. Senator Patty Murray and I went toe to toe with the Bush Administration to demand a decision on Plan B by the FDA."

Friday, July 18, 2008


I hardly ever watch all of Bloggingheads, and usually only watch segments that other people link to, but this conversation between Rebecca Traister and Michelle Goldberg -- two rock star feminists -- was so interesting I actually watched the whole thing. I particularly thought the part where they talk about how the abortion debate in this country is so removed from the reality of the rest of the world was fascinating. It seems also to be the subject of Goldberg's new book.

Rachel Maddow Catches Attention From the Times

The New York Times ran a profile of Rachel Maddow. (Melissa McEwan over at Shakesville has already pointed out the horrendous nature of the art accompanying the piece.) So that means she can be taken seriously now, right?

I'd like to point again to an interview I conducted with her last month, which actually gives a lot more space to her lesbianism, which, as Megan points out, she doesn't make any effort to hide:
If you could line up a roster of the hosts of cable television programs from end to end, it would be a pretty non-diverse group, but I think high-end media in this country is pretty white-male dominated just like a lot of other power receptors. But it’s not a static thing. And I think that it actually does matter that—Amen—we had this long, interesting, raving extravaganza of a Democratic primary this year with a white woman and a black man as the two major contenders. I think that it created sort of an affirmative-action impulse for pundits, which has been great.
I agree with Megan. Total girl crush.

Disinterested Independents

Digby laments the boredom of independent voters -- only 21 percent find the race between McCain and Obama interesting. She says, "I don't know what these people need to make an election interesting. If the huge crowds, new faces, songs, debates galore and huge issues don't do it, I'm not sure what these people want."

Her frustration is understandable. After all, activists have been pumping up voters around the country and Obama appears every now and again in those celebrity rags. But I think we forget that politics is pretty boring to most people. Politics appeals to a niche audience, even if that niche is growing lately.

But for the bored voters, plenty believe that politics is something that happens over there and not to them. A lot of independents also believe that there isn't much difference between the parties. Lastly, the election is still months away. There are plenty of people out there that don't feel any urgency to get informed or gear up for something that's happening in November.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Project Runway

So last night was the first episode of Project Runway. Maybe it's just me, but I don't remember these first episodes feeling so rushed. They start with 16 designers. (Man that seems like a lot. Is that more than other seasons?) The girls seem significantly cuter this season, rocking the red lipstick and the thick indie bangs. But there is one designer who sort of freaks me out. I think some people with think of him as this year's Christian because he's so outrageous, but I think this dude is weirder and far less fabulous. Blayne has an obsession with tanning. His skin looks patchy and weird. I'm half afraid he'll have to leave the show to treat his melanoma. Besides, he didn't even make a cool outfit. His too snug adult onesie reminded me of that gold "sweater dress" Zulema made in season two where you could see the model's entire ass.

The winner last night was this girl, Kelli, for her innovation with coffee filters and vacuum bags. I thought the end result was pretty "eh" but the judges thought it was good. Thank god the asshole Jerry is out. He was hating on everyone's outfits and then ended up getting sent home.

Overstretched Professors

Inside Higher Ed reviews a collection of essays from women in academia called Unfinished Agendas: New and Continuing Gender Challenges in Higher Education. The conclusion the review draws from the book is that while women are getting increasingly represented in the academy, they still aren't achieving gender parity with men.

Once women earn tenure and arrive at the institution they immediately begin getting pulled into various "service" commitments. This includes heading committees, become program coordinators, or take other leadership roles. While this is good for women that long to go into administration at a university, it often pulls female professors away from research.

I think the urge is to make sure women are represented in leadership roles but when this pulls time away from their principal mission of research, it becomes a bad thing. This particular problem with women in academia is something I've seen in other professions as well. Successful women are often overstretched. They're constantly asked to take on more commitments that they feel they cannot say no to.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Flesh and Blood, Man

Kevin Carey has a remarkable piece in the Washington Monthly (which I heard is facing a very uncertain future) about the case of Shawn Earl Gardner and his attempt to use the flesh-and-blood defense:
In the previous year, nearly twenty defendants in other Baltimore cases had begun adopting what lawyers in the federal courthouse came to call “the flesh-and-blood defense.” The defense, such as it is, boils down to this: As officers of the court, all defense lawyers are really on the government’s side, having sworn an oath to uphold a vast, century-old conspiracy to conceal the fact that most aspects of the federal government are illegitimate, including the courts, which have no constitutional authority to bring people to trial. The defendants also believed that a legal distinction could be drawn between their name as written on their indictment and their true identity as a “flesh and blood man.”
The flesh-and-blood defense, it seems, has quite a history. It goes back to a man named William Gale, a World-War II veteran horrified by the 14th Amendment. He went on to argue that, though a combination of that and the dropping of the Gold Standard, the U.S. government is illegitimate. Therefore, he argued, any documents issued by said illegitimate government were false. In Carey's words, "All they had to do, farmers were told, was opt out of the system by sending a letter to the appropriate authorities renouncing their driver’s license, birth certificate, and social security number. ... [such documents created] an artificial construct, they were told, a legal 'straw man.' It wasn’t them—natural, live, flesh and blood men."

The judge dismissed the defense, noting the irony of the defendant's declaration as a "flesh and blood man." The whole story is worth a read.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Some Bad News ... But Not Surprising

Today, Bush has employed an old conservative trick. He wants to require a certification that won't "discriminate" against doctors, hospitals, or nurses that refuse to provide birth control or abortions. From the NYTimes story:
In the proposal, obtained by The New York Times, the administration says it could cut off federal aid to individuals or entities that discriminate against people who object to abortion on the basis of “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”
But the real fear, according to Cristina Page, is that the Bush administration is redefining birth control as abortion in official Health and Human Services policy:
With this proposal, however, HHS is dismissing medical experts and opting instead to accept a definition of pregnancy based on polling data. It now claims that pregnancy begins at some biologically unknowable moment (there's no test to determine if a woman's egg has been fertilized). Under these new standards there would be no way for a woman to prove she's not pregnant. Thus, any woman could be denied contraception under HHS' new science.

The other rarely discussed issue here is whether hormonal contraception even does what the religious right claims. There is no scientific evidence that hormonal methods of birth control can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb. This argument is the basis upon which the religious right hopes to include the 40% of the birth control methods Americans use, such as the pill, the patch, the shot, the ring, the IUD, and emergency contraception, under the classification "abortion."
Update: I have more over at pushback.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Generation Kill: Episodes 1 and 2

I pretty much agree with Alexander Belenky's take on this, now that I've seen the first two episodes of Generation Kill. It's good, but I don't think anyone will care. All of the people that liked David Simon and Ed Burnes' work on The Wire won't buy into this show. The two main contingents of The Wire's audience were high-minded liberals that thought the show brought legitimacy to a disenfranchised group like people on the streets in Baltimore and those that felt the were well represented by the show (and bought the bootleg copies).

But those high-minded liberals just won't by into Generation Kill. They've already been reading the accounts of the war for years. To them, it's old news. Similarly, the kinds of people who are represented in the show aren't into froofy HBO shows. They already know the experience and they don't need to pay for it on premium cable.

As Belenky says, of all the movies made about war in the last year or two, none as grossed more than $15 million domestically. A pittance for the moviemaking business. Making shows about making war, it seems are nearly as unprofitable as making the wars themselves.

Even if the show ends up tanking, the microisms are valuable. Understanding the culture of war is important, even if it is distasteful. There are small moments of truth when they talk about how Marines "make do" with their lack of resources, and vulgar as the dialogue may be, there is something of an art to the one-upsmanship the Marines fire at each other. I'll be tuning in for the rest of the series, but I'm not sure anyone else will be.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Feminists Don't Trust Gardasil Either

Haley Swanson, my co-blogger at pushback, calls me out on something she noticed while reporting on her college campus:
[T]here was a crowd of women who were completely comfortable with their current or future sexual activity who were also skeptical of Gardasil and hesitant to seek out vaccination.

Most of their reasoning centers on a sophisticated level of media savvy. While we are constantly inundated with new advertisements for new drugs we just must have, we also lack any active or visible public health infrastructure to provide a non-profit driven perspective on these drugs.
Haley's absolutely right that there are plenty of sexually liberated women that are distrustful of pharmaceutical giant Merck's predatory nature. Plenty of older feminists that remember the first days of birth control with too-high doses are skeptical as well. I still think this is ultimately good for young women, but I'm glad that Haley pointed out it's not a conservative v. progressive issue. It's a lot more complicated than that.

Obama Works the Working Women

Yesterday presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama addressed women in Fairfax, VA about his economic plan for working women. The coverage in today's Wall Street Journal (don't worry, there's a stipple of both Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton) took until the 16th paragraph to actually delve into what his plan was, filling in the preceeding paragraphs with a lot of crap about the completed primary race. I guess that explains the stipple of Hillary Clinton. By the time they got to it, they devoted a whole sentence to it.

The plan (pdf) is a little more detailed than that, and actually a lot of his proposals for "women" fit into his broader economic plans. He proposes raising the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011, providing affordable health care (presumably through his plan to offer the government health care to the general public), provide 7 days of paid sick leave (part of the Family Medical Leave Act), and expanding tax cuts on child care. Interestingly enough, the one part that is specific to women and not to families is his endorsment of Hillary Clinton's Fair Pay Restoration Act, which he promises to sign into law. This law would restore the old precident of allowing women to sue for pay descrimination, renewing the alloted time period (usually 180 days) after each discriminatory pay check.

Video of the speech here:

American Lives Worth Less, Not Yet Worthless

Economists have decided that the value of an American life is, well, just not worth what it used to be. The price of an American is worth about $6.9 million, down $1 million in the last five years, according to an AP report. Remember that scene in Fight Club where Ed Norton explains that his company has a formula to determine if it’s worthwhile to do a recall on a deathtrap car? Apparently the government has a similar formula for figuring out if it’s worthwhile to enact safety policies:

Consider, for example, a hypothetical regulation that costs $18 billion to enforce but will prevent 2,500 deaths. At $7.8 million per person (the old figure), the lifesaving benefits outweigh the costs. But at $6.9 million per person, the rule costs more than the lives it saves, so it may not be adopted.

This is the result of the Environmental Protection agency “reevaluating” how much a life is worth. So this means a lot of environmental regulation, especially where the causes are harder to trace like asthma or pollution-related deaths, is just not worth it given the declining value of an American human. On a weird side note, apparently we’re worth more than our grandparents. The AP article says that the elderly are worth “38 percent less than that of people under 70.”

Cross posted on pushback.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Is Gardasil a Greater Danger Than HPV? Maybe Not

I take issue with Loryn’s post on the possible side effects of the Gardasil vaccine, which cites a CNN story that says 7,802 girls got sick after receiving it. They’re not yet sure if the sickness is linked to the vaccine, but the Center for Disease Control is investigating it. As for the ten confirmed deaths that occurred after taking Gardasil, none of them was linked to the vaccine. Regardless, even if the girls’ sickness is related to the vaccine (we’re mostly talking about nausea and vomiting) that’s about 3 percent of the 26 million shots that have been distributed worldwide since the drug was approved. That’s a very, very low rate of side effects for any drug, let alone an injection.

I’m not saying that Gardasil is totally safe. But the HPV vaccine is a drug, and much like other drugs, it has side effects and will make some people sick. Many people get sick after taking the flu vaccine, something recommended for millions of people every winter. What is certain to make women sick, though, is cancer. Women who contract HPV (one of the most commonly transmitted STDs, and one that doesn’t even require you to have sex since it’s transmitted via skin-to-skin contact) are likely to get cervical cancer. Chemotherapy will definitely make you sick to the stomach, as would the side effects from the anesthesia from the lasering procedure to remove cancerous cells.

The reason people get so alarmist about Gardasil is because it involves parents thinking about the fact that one day their girls will become sexually active. I’m undecided about forcing young women to get the vaccine. I definitely think girls should get it, but if parents are truly concerned about the temporary stomachache, they should have the ability to opt out. But that could put their girls at risk later in life.

Cross posted on Pushback.

Glamocracy Often a Waste of Space

Why oh why do girl blogs make women sound like idiots? Glamour’s blog, Glamocracy, has one-upped itself again. (Pretty much the only blogger I like there is Megan Carpentier, who also blogs for Jezebel.) In any case, good old MSM mag Glamour has published a post by right-wing hack and Town Hall blogger Amanda Carpenter declaring that she finds the “‘youth vote’ annoying.” Of course a conservative woman like Carpenter finds young people who trend heavily progressive actually showing up to vote annoying. Then the policies she supports are less popular.

But then, Fernanda Diaz writes a quasi-defense of young people that makes her sound uninformed. She says that Carpenter made a “bold statement” by declaring the youth vote is annoying. If Diaz knew anything about the political blogosphere, she would understand that Carpenter is not making anything close to a “bold statement,” but rather harping on the same old perspective she always does.

But Diaz agrees with Carpenter that stories about the youth vote are boring and present a “watered down” version of politics. That’s sometimes a fair criticism. Young people are just as informed about politics about older people. In some cases, young people are better informed than older generations. Media shouldn’t be so surprised when young people care. After all, plenty of issues, like the failing economy and the war, disproportionately affect our generation.

But if Diaz is going to write that media are too condescending to young people, then why does she make quite an unsophisticated argument–Obama is really inspiring to young people–and refer to us as “kids”? I’d say that’s pretty condescending.

Maybe Glamour should just save themselves from embarrassment (or hire some real bloggers who are more on Megan’s skill level) and not engage in arguments with Carpenter as if she’s saying anything thoughtful.

Cross posted.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Suicide Research

In this rather creepy story from Inside Higher Ed today, they talk about some of the challenges in studying a taboo topic like suicide. A Canadian university recently withdrew funding for two different research projects due to ethical concerns. From one perspective, suicide researchers are suffering from huge gaps in information due to their lack of ability to observe suicide attempts. On the other hand, there's a large ethical concern in observing suicide and not doing anything to stop it.

This is indicative of how academic study is subject to the whims of popular opinion, even if such research could end up being valuable. After all, what if researchers discovered something that might prevent future suicides through observation? That's not to say the ethical concerns aren't valid, but it also shows that researchers face just as much scrutiny as other professions.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Brian TPM pretty much has the gist of it, but Brian Beutler was shot three times during a mugging attempt. Brian is in good spirits and is expected to make a full recovery. Brian was one of my very first friends in D.C., and I'm pleased he'll be up and back to hellraising in no time. I'm gonna go ahead and refer to Ezra's graph on the gun issue.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Abortions Down Slightly in Minnesota

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports today that abortions are down slightly in Minnesota. But that’s pretty much all the article says, making it little more than a regurgitation of highlights of Minnesota’s state-law-mandated health department report (pdf). The reporter called, um, no one for comment. In fact, the only quote in the article is from Scott Fischbach, the executive director of the anti-choice organization Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, and came from a press release the group put out.

I managed to get a hold of Kathi Di Nicola, director of media relations for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. She acknowledged that the Star Tribune is working on a lengthier piece, and noted that Planned Parenthood works on many fronts to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. That includes a whole host of issues enveloping abortion, women’s health care, access to birth control, and comprehensive sex education.

The issue of abortion is tied to the larger issue of access to affordable health care. “We’re witnessing the health care crisis firsthand,” Di Nichola said. Given that women need more regular health care, she noted that many women who lose health insurance due to economic hardship are relying on Planned Parenthood as a “safety net” for health care. “We’ve pulled apart preventing unintended pregnancies and abortion as two separate issues,” she said, when in fact both are part of the larger issue of access to health care. “It’s a complex problem.”

Minnesota is one of the more than 20 states that are refusing federal funding set aside for abstinence-only education, but Planned Parenthood’s advocacy affiliate worked in the state house to pass a law called Responsible Family Life and Sexuality Education (RFLSE), legislation that would mandate “comprehensive, medically accurate, and age appropriate curriculum.” The law made its way into an omnibus spending bill but was dropped due to a veto threat.

While Minnesota can certainly highlight the fact that fewer abortions were necessary, Di Nichola made it clear that this is merely one aspect of a messy health care crisis–a crisis worsened by a lack of access to comprehensive education. Of course, preventing teenagers from having access to effective sex education is more or less a permanent platform of groups like Minnesota Family Council, which opposed the RFLSE bill in the hopes that talking about not having sex will make teenagers chaste.

Cross posted.
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