Radio Broadcasts: The Morality of the Right to Abortion and the Immorality of Those Who Oppose It

Sunsara Taylor tour

For the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, watch and spread these penetrating radio programs celebrating the right to abortion, celebrating the doctors and health care providers who risk their lives every day to provide women access to this essential right, and examining the state of abortion rights today.  Both Include critically important discussion of the changing moral discourse surrounding abortion.

For the 38th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, watch and spread these penetrating radio programs celebrating the right to abortion, celebrating the doctors and health care providers who risk their lives every day to provide women access to this essential right, and examining the state of abortion rights today.  Includes critically important discussion of the changing moral discourse surrounding abortion.

The Morality of Abortion and the Immorality of Those Who Would Force Women to Bear Children Against Their Will

http://archive.wbai.org/files/mp3/110122_150001etff.MP3

Originally broadcast on WBAI-Pacifica radio in NY on Sat. Jan. 22, and hosted by Sunsara Taylor, the program begins with Dr. Leroy Carhart, one of the few doctors left who provides second trimester abortions.  After the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009, Dr. Carhart stepped out even further – and became targeted by the anti-choice fascists as “enemy # 1” – by declaring that he will continue to serve the women who need abortions in his area.  Further, he has expanded his practice to Baltimore and is working to train more doctors in later term abortion services.

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Then, the show features a three way conversation between:

Merle Hoffman, the President and Founder of Choices Women’s Medical Center and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of On the Issues Magazine.  She has been on the front lines providing abortions since 1971 and an outspoken activist and women’s rights advocate.

Debra Sweet, the National Director of World Can’t Wait.  She was central to organizing clinic defense against Operation Rescue across the country throughout the 90’s and continues to expose and mobilize against the attacks on women’s right to abortion and the providers who serve them.

Carole Joffe, author of “Dispatches From the Abortion Wars: The Cost of Fanaticism to Doctors, Patients, and the Rest of Us,” as well as, “Doctors of Conscience: The Struggle to Provide Abortion Before and After Roe V. Wade.”

Sunsara Taylor, writer for Revolution newspaper and sits on the National Advisory Board of World Can’t Wait.

 

Another powerful Roe v. Wade anniversary radio show – Jan. 21st broadcast of

The Michael Slate Show on WPFK-Pacifica L.A.

http://archive.kpfk.org/parchive/mp3/kpfk_110121_100012bts_michael.MP3

Michael’s guests include Carole Joffe, author of Dispatches from the Abortion Wars, speaking on the impact of the war on abortion rights.

Jessica Arons, RHRealitycheck.org, on the impact of the Hyde Amendment on women, especially women of color.

Sunsara Taylor, writer for Revolution newspaper, on the morality of the right to abortion, and the immorality of those who oppose it. 

Commentary Sexual Health

Don’t Forget the Boys: Pregnancy and STI Prevention Efforts Must Include Young Men Too

Martha Kempner

Though boys and young men are often an afterthought in discussions about reproductive and sexual health, two recent studies make the case that they are in need of such knowledge and that it may predict when and how they will parent.

It’s easy to understand why so many programs and resources to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) focus on cisgender young women: They are the ones who tend to get pregnant.

But we cannot forget that young boys and men also feel the consequences of early parenthood or an STI.

I was recently reminded of the need to include boys in sexual education (and our tendency not to) by two recent studies, both published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The first examined young men’s knowledge about emergency contraception. The second study found that early fatherhood as well as nonresident fatherhood (fathers who do not live with their children) can be predicted by asking about attitudes toward pregnancy, contraception, and risky sexual behavior. Taken together, the new research sends a powerful message about the cost of missed opportunities to educate boys.

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The first study was conducted at an adolescent medicine clinic in Aurora, Colorado. Young men ages 13 to 24 who visited the clinic between August and October 2014 were given a computerized survey about their sexual behavior, their attitudes toward pregnancy, and their knowledge of contraception. Most of the young men who took the survey (75 percent) had already been sexually active, and 84 percent felt it was important to prevent pregnancy. About two-thirds reported having spoken to a health-care provider about birth control other than condoms, and about three-quarters of sexually active respondents said they had spoken to their partner about birth control as well.

Yet, only 42 percent said that they knew anything about emergency contraception (EC), the only method of birth control that can be taken after intercourse. Though not meant to serve as long-term method of contraception, it can be very effective at preventing pregnancy if taken within five days of unprotected sex. Advance knowledge of EC can help ensure that young people understand the importance of using the method as soon as possible and know where to find it.

Still, the researchers were positive about the results. Study co-author Dr. Paritosh Kaul, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, told Kaiser Health News that he was “pleasantly surprised” by the proportion of boys and young men who had heard about EC: “That’s two-fifths of the boys, and … we don’t talk to boys about emergency contraception that often. The boys are listening, and health-care providers need to talk to the boys.”

Even though I tend to be a glass half-empty kind of person, I like Dr. Kaul’s optimistic take on the study results. If health-care providers are broadly neglecting to talk to young men about EC, yet about 40 percent of the young men in this first study knew about it anyway, imagine how many might know if we made a concerted effort.

The study itself was too small to be generalizable (only 93 young men participated), but it had some other interesting findings. Young men who knew about EC were more likely to have discussed contraception with both their health-care providers and their partners. While this may be an indication of where they learned about EC in the first place, it also suggests that conversations about one aspect of sexual health can spur additional ones. This can only serve to make young people (both young men and their partners) better informed and better prepared.

Which brings us to our next study, in which researchers found that better-informed young men were less likely to become teen or nonresident fathers.

For this study, the research team wanted to determine whether young men’s knowledge and attitudes about sexual health during adolescence could predict their future role as a father. To do so, they used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (known as Add Health), which followed a nationally representative sample of young people for more than 20 years from adolescence into adulthood.

The researchers looked at data from 10,253 young men who had completed surveys about risky sexual behavior, attitudes toward pregnancy, and birth control self-efficacy in the first waves of Add Health, which began in 1994. The surveys asked young men to respond to statements such as: “If you had sexual intercourse, your friends would respect you more;” “It wouldn’t be all that bad if you got someone pregnant at this time in your life;” and “Using birth control interferes with sexual enjoyment.”

Researchers then looked at 2008 and 2009 data to see if these young men had become fathers, at what age this had occurred, and whether they were living with their children. Finally, they analyzed the data to determine if young men’s attitudes and beliefs during adolescence could have predicted their fatherhood status later in life.

After controlling for demographic variables, they found that young men who were less concerned about having risky sex during adolescence were 30 percent more likely to become nonresident fathers. Similarly, young men who felt it wouldn’t be so bad if they got a young woman pregnant had a 20 percent greater chance of becoming a nonresident father. In contrast, those young men who better understood how birth control works and how effective it can be were 28 percent less likely to become a nonresident father.9:45]

Though not all nonresident fathers’ children are the result of unplanned pregnancies, the risky sexual behavior scale has the most obvious connection to fatherhood in general—if you’re not averse to sexual risk, you may be more likely to cause an unintended pregnancy.

The other two findings, however, suggest that this risk doesn’t start with behavior. It starts with the attitudes and knowledge that shape that behavior. For example, the results of the birth control self-efficacy scale suggest that young people who think they are capable of preventing pregnancy with contraception are ultimately less likely to be involved in an unintended pregnancy.

This seems like good news to me. It shows that young men are primed for interventions such as a formal sexuality education program or, as the previous study suggested, talks with a health-care provider.

Such programs and discussion are much needed; comprehensive sexual education, when it’s available at all, often focuses on pregnancy and STI prevention for young women, who are frequently seen as bearing the burden of risky teen sexual behavior. To be fair, teen pregnancy prevention programs have always suffered for inadequate funding, not to mention decades of political battles that sent much of this funding to ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Researchers and organizations have been forced to limit their scope, which means that very few evidence-based pregnancy prevention interventions have been developed specifically for young men.

Acknowledging this deficit, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of Adolescent Health have recently begun funding organizations to design or research interventions for young men ages 15 to 24. They supported three five-year projects, including a Texas program that will help young men in juvenile justice facilities reflect on how gender norms influence intimate relationships, gender-based violence, substance abuse, STIs, and teen pregnancy.

The availability of this funding and the programs it is supporting are a great start. I hope this funding will solidify interest in targeting young men for prevention and provide insight into how best to do so—because we really can’t afford to forget about the boys.

News Politics

Report: ‘Trump Effect’ Brings ‘Fear and Anxiety’ for Students of Color

Ally Boguhn

Teachers have noticed “an increase in bullying, harassment and intimidation of students whose races, religions or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates on the campaign trail.”

The 2016 presidential race is creating “an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom,” according to a survey conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The organization’s new report, The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on Our Nation’s Schoolscollected comments from about 2,000 K-12 educators between March 23 and April 2, using an online survey through their Teaching Tolerance project. The results show many children fear “being deported” after the 2016 election and teachers have noticed “an increase in bullying, harassment and intimidation of students whose races, religions or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates on the campaign trail.”

Though the survey didn’t mention Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump by name, more than 1,000 comments brought up the GOP frontrunner, compared to less than 200 comments mentioning other presidential candidates.

Though the SPLC cautions that their survey was “not scientific,” the results show trends that may be taking place in classrooms across the country. Sixty-seven percent of teachers say their students are afraid of what will happen to their families after the election and educators in every state said they had seen an increase in hostility towards immigrants, according to the report.

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“My students are terrified of Donald Trump,” a middle school teacher told the SPLC. “They think that if he’s elected, all black people will get sent back to Africa.”

A high school teacher in California similarly reported that they’ve seen “Latino students who carry their birth certificates and Social Security cards to school because they are afraid they will be deported.” Another teacher said a #whitelivesmatter sign was placed on a table where Black students sat. 

More than one-third of teachers said they had seen a rise in anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant sentiment. “Students are hearing more hate language than I have ever heard at our school before,” said a high school teacher in Montana.

“A lot of students think we should kill any and all people we do not agree with,” said another teacher in New Hampshire. “They also think that all Muslims are the same and are a threat to our country and way of life. They believe all Muslims want to kill us.”

Many educators said that Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim declarations had had a noticeable impact on dialogue among teachers and students. One teacher included in the SPLC survey said “the overall attitude at our school is that all of the candidates’ anti-immigration rhetoric is self-serving, and that Trump and Cruz in particular are dangerously insane. These are from conversations with both students and other teachers.”

SPLC President Richard Cohen in a statement said teacher feedback showed students of color felt threatened by the rhetoric coming from the campaign trail in recent months.

“We’re deeply concerned about the level of fear among minority children who feel threatened by both the incendiary campaign rhetoric and the bullying they’re encountering in school,” Cohen said. “We’ve seen Donald Trump behave like a 12-year-old, and now we’re seeing 12-year-olds behave like Donald Trump.”

Donald Trump has come under fire for making increasingly inflammatory statements about immigrants, Muslims, and people of color. Other Republican presidential candidates such as Cruz have stepped up their rhetoric on these issues in what is being deemed the “Trump effect.”

Trump on the campaign trail has called immigrants from Mexico “rapists,” and falsely claimed they were responsible for bringing disease into the United States. In December, Trump proposed a ban on all Muslims entering the United States after terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.