According to an HIV prevention meeting in Georgia, pop music helps spread HIV among American adolescents.  Say what?!  Learn more about the ridiculous news from Elizabeth Pisani.

Music Spreads HIV

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Grrrl Riot

There are a couple free events occurring in Boston promoting women’s sexual health.  If you live in the area, you should attend and bring your friends.

What: “Defend, Don’t Defund!” rally hosted by Planned Parenthood and coalition allies, flyer here
Where: Boston Commons at the Parkman Bandstand
When: Saturday, March 19th, from 12 – 1pm

What: Women’s Global Health and Rights: The Importance of Sexual and Reproductive Health, panel discussion hosted by the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) and State Representative Kay Khan
Where: Massachusetts State House, Members Lounge
When: Tuesday, March 29, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Yippee for local events advocating women’s sexual health!

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International Women’s Day

Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.  This year’s theme, as set by the UN is “Equal access to education, training, science, and technology: Pathway to decent work for women“.  Although celebrations differ country to country, IWD is a day to appreciate and honor women with a plethora of events in cities all over the world.  Thousands of people will be gathering on a bridge in the Join Me on a Bridge campaign.  Follow the link to find a bridge near you.  Even if you cannot attend an event, make sure to celebrate this day in your own way.

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Top 10 Crazy S*%T Republicans Have Proposed Recently

I thought I’d share these examples with everyone about the recent outrageous legislation proposed by Republicans, which can be found on MoveOn.org.

Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP’s War on Women

1) Republicans not only want to reduce women’s access to abortion care, they’re actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven’t yet. Shocker.

2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to “accuser.” But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain “victims.”

3) In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)

4) Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.

5) In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.

6) Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids’ preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.

7) And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.

8.) Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.

9) Congress just voted for a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.

10) And if that wasn’t enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can’t make this stuff up).

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Stop the War Against American Women’s Health

Anti-choice leaders in Congress are in a full attack of women’s health as well as reproductive rights.  As I mentioned previously, the House has proposed new legislation to restrict abortion access.  Now, they are trying to eliminate all funding for Title X family planning programs, which greatly affects Planned Parenthood clinics.

YOU can make a difference.  Today is National Youth Call-In Day to tell Congress to stop this war on women’s health.

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Stupak on Steroid Agenda

I’m sure you are aware (and if you’re not, go read a newspaper or watch the news immediately) of the extreme anti-choice legislation that is attempting to further restrict abortion access.  The No Tax Payer for Abortion Funding Act (HR 3) and the Protect Life Act (HR 358) together are known as the “Stupak on Steroids” agenda.

HR 3 would force people to pay higher taxes if their private insurance plans include abortion coverage.  Despite promises last week to drop the controversial provision, the term “forcible rape” is still in the bill.  Meanwhile, HR 353 would allow hospitals to refuse to perform an abortion on a woman, even if the mother’s life is threatened.  As Jill at Feministe puts it,

In other words, it gives doctors the green light to let women die if they have a life-threatening condition and need an emergency abortion.

Please see Choice USA’s video (below) to learn how you can take action to protect your rights.

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Snow, er, Wintry Mix Day

Here in Boston, it’s been a rough winter – below 0 degrees F temperatures, excessive snow, wind, etc.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love snow.  But this is just too much.  The snow on the streets is accumulating and the icicles above my apartment door are beginning to threaten my life.  So when I heard we were in for ANOTHER snow day, I tried to make the best of it.  Home activities!

I decided to bake some cookies and make some delicious soup.  Butterscotch chocolate chip cookies and pasta e fagioli, to be exact.  Now, doesn’t that sound like a great winter day spent indoors?  In the end, we didn’t even get snow.  It was a wintry mix, heavier on the rain.  Still a perfect opportunity to stay home!

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Health Care Law Repealed

Today the Republican-controlled House repealed the Affordable Care Act that passed Congress and was signed into law last year.  This policy is incredibly important to the health of American citizens and includes many “meaningful solutions to the complex problems currently plaguing the public health system and the people it serves,” according to the American Public Health Association (APHA).  By overhauling it, the Republicans have voted to

  • Inhibit 32 million Americans from getting health insurance
  • Decrease the public health and primary care workforce who are at the forefront of disease prevention
  • Allow health insurance companies to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, including a Cesarean section delivery
  • Prohibit millions of young adults from being on their parents’ health insurance
  • Deny tax breaks for small businesses that provide health care to their employees

This is just a short list.  I’m truly surprised that anyone would vote against a health care reform that could benefit millions of people.

But the battle is not over.  The Democratic-controlled Senate has stated that it will not act on the bill, thereby hampering it.  We will have to wait and see what happens.

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I Have a Confession To Make

I like Katy Perry’s song “Teenage Dream”.  There I said it.  What a relief!

I used to loathe the song.  I thought it had ridiculous lyrics (e.g., skin tight jeans) and found Katy’s voice painfully irritating.  But then, Glee used the song for its episode “Never Been Kissed” and I fell in love.  Well, actually, I fell in love with Darren Criss, whose good looks and smooth voice have led me to do intense research on his life.  Don’t judge.  However, watching Darren Criss’s character, Blaine, sing made me realize why the song is great.  It’s about teen love in all its glory.  Teen love is innocent, new, and perfect.

I recently had a conversation with a friend how I will never love like I did my first love.  She agreed that no one ever does.  We now know how much it hurts to have our hearts broken and how long it can take to recover.  As adults, we love with reservations.  We enter relationships hesitantly and carefully, making every effort to not get hurt.  But “Teenage Dream” celebrates that first encounter with love and feeling immortal.  And, that is why I now love the song.  It reminds of that feeling.  Though, I do prefer Glee’s version.

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So This is the New Year?

And I don’t feel any different.

But, I do have hopes that this year will be better than the last.  I’ve heard from many people the same thoughts.  2010 was a difficult year for me, and it seems I was not alone.  I had my heart broken and gave up on a dream, but learned to accept those things I have no control over and let them go.  And so, I look forward to moving on.

Happy 2011.

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