Roundup: What’s Next for Clinton, Doulas Behind Bars, the Michael Gerson Watch and the APA on Gender Dysphoria

Emily Douglas

Doris Kearns Goodwin offers ideas on Clinton's next steps, doulas assist mothers behind bars, Population Action International gives Michael Gerson a reality check, and the APA considers removing gender identity disorder from the DSM-V.

What will Hillary Clinton do next? Doris Kearns Goodwin has some
. (Sneak preview: most of them involve another run for the White

What do doulas assisting women giving birth in prison do? As Salon’s Lynn
Harris points out
, they aren’t around to "hold mothers’ hands and offer
lavender-scented hankies during contractions." Instead, doulas from the Birth Attendants, an Olympia-based group of doulas assisting births in Washington state, meet regularly
with mothers prior to the birth, discussing women’s anxieties about labor and about parenting
in a challenging environment (at the Washington Corrections Center, where doulas can assist women in labor, some inmates can keep their children with them behind bars until the child is 2½). Doulas
also provide sex ed and information about birth control. The Birth Attendants’ Christy Hall has written for Rewire on the challenges of mothering from behind

Population Action International is on the Michael Gerson
Watch. This time, Gerson is taking issue
with Yale University President Richard Levin’s suggestion that (in Gerson’s
words) "religious Americans who support pro-life restrictions on international
family planning aid are as doctrinaire and exclusionary as Saudi extremists." Gerson goes on: "Pro-life Catholics and
evangelicals? Wahhabi extremists? What’s the difference?" PAI’s Craig Lasher responds:

This hollow
complaint is from the President Bush’s former chief speech writer, who equated
those who would advocate for providing contraception to HIV-positive women —
those who wish to avoid pregnancy and spreading HIV to their babies — with
those who would use abortion to prevent cleft lip, clubfoot, and bed-wetting
and "’solve" the problems of poverty and disease by eliminating the poor
and sick.

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You might recall that Michael Gerson has been a thorn in the sexual and reproductive health advocate’s side on more than one occasion.  He’s one of the only mainstream media voices paying any attention to PEPFAR; too bad the part he’s playing in this drama is to further muddy the waters between family planning and abortion (reminder: no, PEPFAR money would not support abortion; yes, PEPFAR money would pay for contraception).  And then there were his accusations that Obama doesn’t "display a welcoming attitude to new life."  Because Obama is in support of comprehensive sexuality education. Yes, that’s logical!

Finally, Miriam
at Feministing
covers the debate within the American Psychological
Association about whether to remove gender identity dysphoria from the DSM-V. Feministing’s commenters note that while a
diagnosis can be helpful in obtaining insurance coverage for the medication and
medical procedures involved in transitioning, diagnosis is still pathologizing and should not be required for appropriate, sensitive and covered treatment. For more background context, check out this nuanced and
thoughtful NPR story
on therapeutic approaches to gender dysphoria in young children.

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