Hey y’all. It’s me, Mallory, again. Unfortunately Molly had to step down from writing the round up for awhile. What does that mean? It means the snark-factor of this blog went waaaaay down. We’ll miss you, Molly, but wish you the best of luck at your grown up, Trust Women job.
As always, we start with what happened at OK4RJ this week. Pearl wrote about the perpetuation of stigma against HIV positive folks in a Kansas bill and in the Tulsa orthodontist story that has received local coverage. We also announced the formation of the OK4RJ Board of Directors and encouraged people to apply for a spot (you should do it, ok? ok).Did you catch the Rachel Maddow Show last night? Maybe you saw Julie Burkhardt and her group of badass, babe-ly employees (three of whom write for this blog BTW). Yesterday Trust Women opened the South Wind Women’s Center, a comprehensive reproductive health clinic located at the site of Dr. Tiller’s old clinic. Maddow discussed the site’s history of violence and the current threats clinic workers have received. And Maddow (be still my heart, Maddow) described the work at the clinic as “defying violence” and as making a statement that violence is not how people get their way in this country. Julie Burkhardt described her work as a matter of principle, as a matter of what is right, and as a matter of justice because all people deserve reproductive freedom no matter where they live. However you characterize the work, we can all agree on its importance. Please consider donating to Trust Women. Think Progress reported on a study, which found that the number of patients dying at rural hospitals increased at the same time that the number of patients dying at urban hospitals decreased. The authors suggest a lack of the latest sophisticated technology and a dearth of specialists as possible contributing factors. The government also requires rural hospitals to comply with more lenient reporting standards, which means the government may not realize these hospitals need additional assistance. Think Progress added that the demographics of rural areas skew older. People in these areas are also likely to have more children, be underinsured or uninsured, and chronically ill, so lack of quality preventative and primary care is also a factor. This discussion is especially important in Southern states where health indicators for everyone, urban and rural, are often below average.
[Linked Content Warning: mention of sexual abuse/assault of children] The Guttmacher Institute published a study confirming what young people already knew: older people’s hand wringing about sexually active teens is unfounded. Adolescents 12 years old and younger rarely reported having sexual intercourse and when they did, it was more likely to be nonconsensual. Teens aged 15 and 16 are substantially more likely to have not had sex and in general, “younger generations put off having sex later in life than their elders born in the 1970s.”
In Oklahoma news, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed HB 2015, a bill that would “increase the amount of information physicians who perform abortions are required to report to the state Department of Health, which then posts the information on its website.” The full 10th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the Obamacare employer contraception mandate. And in what the Founders must have been going for when establishing this whole representative democracy thing, Al Gerhardt, the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party, tried via a threatening email to coerce Oklahoma Sen. Cliff Branan into pushing legislation that would prevent Agenda 21 from being implemented. Oh you’ve never heard of Agenda 21? Congrats, that probably means you’re not a right-wing conspiracy theorist or listener of Glenn Beck’s radio show.
This week’s video is dedicated to everyone who worked to bring abortion access back to Wichita. You’re all stars, but take heed of whatever cautionary tale Bowie’s trying to tell.
Even Mallory’s right-wing, Limbaugh lovin’ family refuses to listen to Glenn Beck.