Birth Control: Contraception and Other Women’s Preventive Services to be Covered by 2013

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced new guidelines requiring health insurance plans beginning on or after Augusts 1, 2012* to cover some women’s preventive services, including birth control HIV screenings, counseling on domestic violence, and voluntarily sterilization

CNN reported that the HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the decision is a part of the Affordable Care Act’s move to stop problems  before they start.

“These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need”

This new mandate comes only a few short months after a study was released in May reporting that unintended pregnancy in the United States cost the tax payers $11 billion dollars. The study found that two-thirds of births resulting from unintended pregnancies—more than one million births—are publicly funded, and the proportion tops 80% in a couple of states. The cost of those births, and the potential gross saving from helping women to avert them, is estimated at $11.1 billion.

While the new guidelines are certainly a win for the women’s community, the bill does have its limitations.

The Huffington Post reports that the new health care mandate makes an exception for religious organizations who morally oppose contraception. Meaning, women working in the Catholic Health Care industry or other religious groups who provide health insurance can be exempted from this new mandate.

According to a study done by the Guttmacher Institute, among all women who have had sex, 99% have ever used a contraceptive method other than natural family planning. The study found that this figure is virtually the same among Catholic women, where 98% of Catholic women who have had sex use some form of contraception despise the Catholic clergy’s opposition. So while the clergy may not approve of birth control measures, it is not stopping women from using them and wanting them to be covered under their healthcare. the The study also showed that only 2% of Catholic women rely on natural family planning, at statistic true even among Catholic women who attend church once a month or more.

Republican Representative Steve King from Iowa is one of the first congressperson to speak out about this new mandate. King had this to say:

“They’ve called it preventative medicine. Preventative medicine. Well if you applied that preventative medicine universally what you end up with is you’ve prevented a generation. Preventing babies from being born is not medicine. That’s not— that’s not constructive to our culture and our civilization. If we let our birth rate get down below replacement rate we’re a dying civilization.”

One has to wonder if King realizes that birth control is, in fact, reversible. Furthermore, preventing sexually active women and teens from unwanted pregnancy will hardly threaten the replacement rate because these women weren’t intending on having children in the first place. Making birth control an equal opportunity for women of all financial classes makes society more education and purposeful in our reproductive habits, rather than eliminating them all together.

*reports of the date the mandate goes into effect has varied from late 2012 to early 2013 . This taken was taken from CNN’s monday report.


The Different Types of Feminism: A Misguided Analysis Posted on Thought Catalogue

There was an out-cry amongst feminists in the Twitter community today over an article posted by Thought Catalogue and written by Johanna de Silentio.

Thought Catalogue calls itself an online magazine for people who are passionate about culture. The site houses many personal and introspective narratives that are organized by catalogue IDs. Some of todays, July 26, headlines include “When You Don’t Remember The Name of Someone You’ve Slept With” and “Coffee Talk in the Office Breakroom”.

Todays Thought Catalogue article that sparked controversy was “The Different Types of Feminist There Are”. The article was originally posted on, a site  the writer co-founded. It lists, what the author thinks, is 6 different types of feminists in contemporary society.

First, the author calls out the “Angry Feminists”:

“Angry Feminists believe in equality but hate lots of women—basically anyone who is pretty, wears heels, or laughs a lot. Actually, a large part of Angry Feminist culture is the rejection of feminine things for the sake of rejecting feminine things.”

She likens angry feminists to Courtney Love and Kelly Osborne, before she dyed her hair of course.

Second, she explains who the “Douchey Dude Feminists”, DDF for short, are:

 “The DDF is a feminist solely because he desires another excuse by which he can complain loudly about his own lot in life. He’s fundamentally bitter toward women because of his lack of dating success, and blames it on what he perceives to be intellectual and ideological inadequacies in the girls he finds himself pursuing.”

She likens DDFs to Privilege-denying white dude and supporting male characters in Judd Apatow movies.

Next, the author moves on to talk about her favorite type of feminist,  The Slutty Feminist!:

  “They may or may not have good arguments for believing the things they do, but the Slutty Feminist is the only one who won’t make fun of me for liking Legally Blonde. They fight for the right to wear leggings as pants and booty dresses in the winter and fuck you if you think that invites a rape.

She likens Slutty feminists to Chelsea Handler and Bill Clinton.

The “Joyless Pseudo Intellectual Feminist” is up next for analysis:

“ Arguing with them is completely pointless, because even if you manage to ingest enough Adderall to stay awake through the conversation, they’re so closed-minded that you’ll eventually just give up.”

She likens these feminist to every tumblr blog with feminism tags.

Next the author relates it back to the read, explain the “Regular Person Feminist”:

“These are people just like you and me that in passing conversation would say “I’m a feminist,” but it’s not something they bring up or discuss ad nauseum.”

Both Tina Fey and Drew Barrymore have been awarded the position of spokespersons for the RPF’s.

Finally, there is the “Stay at Home Feminists”:

“They are constant apologists for the compatibility of feminism and stay at home moms. They think they’re better than the bourgeoise but are generally harmless unless you point out that all mommy blogs are necessarily hackneyed, or say that baking is way lame.”

The author likens these women to Gwyneth Paltrow.

Respected bloggers and authors in the feminists community took to their twitter in, what felt like, a feminist community reunion over something that was a bummer to have to reunite over.

In what was a constant flow of sarcasm and criticism, the feminist community made it clear that no one in their right-feminist-mind would endorse the article posted on Thought Catalogue.

What is most concerning is the potential it actually had to be a really insightful piece of writing. The feminism community certainly has it’s different branches. Some are more concentrated on the LGBT issue while others are more focused on Reproductive Rights. There are different ideologies within the community that sometimes tear the movement apart, whether it be about which issues are focused on more or whether a certain issue belong in our community at all.

An analysis of the different branches of feminism and the activists that come with it could have been quite brilliant. Unfortunately, the product of Ms. Johanna De Silento’s piece was a clear painting of how misunderstood the feminist community is. The article was degrading, at best, in every category she presented. Imagine if Ms. De Silentio wrote an article defining the different kind of black people, and conjuring up stereotypes similar to the ones she did about feminists. There would be an absolute outcry in the blogging community, rather than a 40 minute sarcastic tweet-a-thon amongst feminists.

Another irony in all of this is that the comments page was turned off. Seeing this makes one consider if maybe the author was just being a sensationalist and knew exactly how ludicrous her article was. However, based on the ignorant narrative she has written, Ms. De Silentio hardly deserves the benefit of the doubt.

According to her bio, this is not the first time Johanna de Silentio has contributed to thought catalogue. She has also written “Judging Male Attractiveness Based On The Shoes They Wear”.