Repro Rights Afternoon Style: Silent Birth, AIDS denialism, Tea Party Abortion Argument and More

Amie Newman

AIDS denialist given a radio gig, Tea Partiers argue over abortion and gays in the military, New Jersey legislators debate whether women's health is all that important, and what is "silent birth"?

AIDS denialist given a radio gig, Tea Partiers argue over abortion and gays in the military, New Jersey legislators debate whether women’s health is all that important, what is “silent birth” and more…

  • WBAI, New York’s Pacifica radio station, has announed that they will put AIDS denialist Gay Null back on the air. Null pushes dangerous propaganda which includes the idea that HIV does not cause AIDS, that it’s not even a sexually transmitted infection and more. A host of organizations are petitioning WBAI to keep him away from the airwaves including the Global AIDS Alliance and CHAMP, The Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project. You can sign a petition here
  • Right Wing Watch notes that last week’s push, on the part of a handful of GOPers and Tea Party leaders for the Tea Party to abandon religious right social issues in its agenda has been met by fierce opposition from  “dozens of Tea Party leaders” (including religious rights groups) who have released their own letter to the GOP which includes “calling on Congress to fight repeal of DADT and defunding Planned Parenthood.” I’d like to think this is a real division in the Tea Party but the religious right is a force with which to be reckoned and most Tea Party supporters who identify with the religious right will not release from their white knuckle grip over other Americans’ lives and choices so easily.
  • New Jersey legislators will make another attempt, today, to restore family planning funding for critical health programs in the state. The programs would expand access to services like breast and pelvic exams, sexually transmitted infection testing, birth control and pregnancy testing. 
  • Kelly Preston, actress and wife of John Travolta, is due to give birth any day. As a follower of the Church of Scientology a lot has been made of the fact that Preston must abide by the church’s mandate to have a “Silent Birth.” Now, yes, I have issues with this as I find it absurd that there should be any dictates – from a church, from a provider, from anyone –  over how a woman must give birth, that is unrelated to health issues. That said, there seems to be a lot of misinformation over what exactly Scientology means by a “silent birth” (ie, it doesn’t mean utter silence on the part of the birthing woman). Still, I find it all unnecessarily controlling.  
  • Researchers in Canada are looking at the impact of stress during pregnancy on the long-term health of the babies in utero. The researchers say they’d like to be able to address what pregnant women can do to improve the health of their newborns, during pregnancy. However, I’d add that there are so many external stressors on pregnant women including lack of access to proper health care, economic issues, a lack of control over bodily autonomy, and more so I hope the results are viewed with a wide lens.

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