Sisterhood Blog

Plan B Is Free, But Stigma Remains

By Sarah Seltzer

Getty Images

After years of cajoling, protesting, advocating and pleading from women’s health advocates, Plan B, the most commonly-used brand of emergency contraception, has been released from legal limbo. Hopefully this morning after pill will now be able to spend the rest of its days in the friendlier, more accessible haven of the pharmacy shelf rather than behind the counter.

This victory only came after Edward Korman, a Reagan-appointed judge, slammed the Obama administration for stonewalling and politicizing the issue after the FDA’s recommendation that the pill be available to women regardless of ability to furnish proof of age. The administration, loath to appeal the ruling further and alienate its base, caved.

I’ve been following the story here at the Sisterhood, continually baffled that a supposedly pro-science administration would embrace the conservative position on an issue of reproductive health. Should we credit this moment to the Obama administration finally seeing the light or, more cynically, should we note that the administration has done the right thing the very week they are under fire for the NSA snooping scandal?

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: sisterhood, plan b, jewish women, feminism, abortion

Roe v. Wade at 39

By Sarah Seltzer

Getty Images

Last year smashed records on reproductive rights — and not good ones. As the year that birthed the GOP “war on women” came to a close, the Guttmacher Institute tallied things up and found that of all the reproductive health and rights-related provisions enacted this year: “Fully 68% of these new provisions—92 in 24 states—restrict access to abortion services, a striking increase from last year, when 26% of new provisions restricted abortion. The 92 new abortion restrictions enacted in 2011 shattered the previous record of 34 adopted in 2005.”

These numbers are stark, vivid proof that the organized, nationwide pushback of women’s rights wasn’t just a media construction.

With so many new and varied restrictions on the books, many women — particularly poor and rural women — simply cannot obtain abortions. This combined with the stunning blow that was the Obama administration’s overruling the FDA on over-the-counter Plan B availability ended the year on a particularly sour note.

As the 39th anniversary of Roe approaches — it’s on January 22 — we need take that time to gather our forces.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Reproductive Health, Plan B, Abortion

After Plan B Decision, Our Own Plan B

By Sarah Seltzer

Pete Souza
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose department overruled the FDA on emergency contraceptive access.

Last week I was happily monitoring the news and reading all sorts of positive stories about how the FDA was poised to approve Plan B, one-step emergency contraception, for unrestricted over-the-counter use.

Imagine a system in which terrified young women who had experienced a condom breaking, a failed sexual negotiation, or any other contraceptive mishap could buy Plan B without hearing from a condescending pharmacist.

Finally, I thought, some good news that will lead to fewer pregnancies, fewer abortions and a saner culture. But a few hours later, came the announcement that even though the FDA sought this change and thought it was sound science, the Obama administration had shot it down.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Reproductive Rights, Plan B

Digest: Lesbian Mothers, Well-Adjusted Kids; A 5-Days-After Pill?

By Gabrielle Birkner

The Sisterhood Digest:

• For all of you with two Jewish mothers — or two mothers, period — consider yourself lucky: A new study shows that children raised by lesbian mothers have fewer behavioral problems than their peers.

• An Egyptian court has ruled that men who marry Jewish Israeli women — and children born of those unions — are to be stripped of their Egyptian citizenship.

• The FDA will mull the approval of a new “morning-after pill” — this one, from France — that is said to be effective five days after having unprotected sex. Plan B, the only emergency contraceptive pill now on the market, is thought to work only if taken within 72 hours of intercourse.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Google Baby, Gay Parents, Emergency Contraception, Plan B, Tali Fahima

If Young Women Aren’t MIA On Abortion Rights, Where Are They?

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

I read Sarah Seltzer’s recent Sisterhood blog post, “An Intergenerational Battle Over Abortion,” with interest. And I’m wondering if there’s any evidence to support her supposition that young women do support abortion rights, and their contributions to the movement are unappreciated. Aside from citing one young woman frustrated with not being appreciated at a NARAL Pro Choice America conference, Sarah doesn’t offer information to back her claim that the conventional wisdom is wrong.

Do NARAL or Planned Parenthood have a breakdown, by age, of their volunteers or donors? Do the numbers back Sarah’s point?

The strongest, and most unfortunate, evidence that I see that young women are not very interested in activism to keep abortion legal is that, according to this article on Feministing, a leading organization in the reproductive justice movement, The Pro Choice Public Education Project has closed its doors for lack of funding. The organization’s primary constituency? Young women.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: abortion, Contraception, Plan B, NARAL

'Plan A': NCJW's Campaign for Contraception

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

When my neighbor told me that “Plan B” was the name he had picked for the sports bar he was opening, I just about choked. Until I told him, he had no idea that it’s the name of the morning-after pill; he went with the name anyway.

So I thought it very clever when I saw that the National Council of Jewish Women is calling its new campaign for contraception access “Plan A.” After all, if we have a Plan A, we won’t need to get to Plan B, right? “Plan A” is an outgrowth of NCJW’s activism on women’s reproductive health and a response to the U.S. Senate’s passage, last October, of a bill that allocates $50 million of new tax money to abstinence-only education programs.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Plan A, National Council of Jewish Women, NCJW, Morning-After Pill, Emergency Contraception, Contraception, Plan B




Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.