You Gotta Have Your Priorities

This just makes me want to scream:

Thousands of rape investigations are bogged down in Texas because of untested evidence, but a lawmaker has proposed a bill that would use public crowdfunding to help pay for testing and fix the backlog.

In the first legislation of its kind, the lawmaker, Representative Victoria Neave, a Democrat from Dallas, introduced the bill in February to solicit donations of $1 or more from people when they renew or apply for drivers licenses. The money would underwrite a grant for the Department of Public Safety to test what are commonly called “rape kits,” which consist of evidence samples including hair, semen, fabric fibers and skin cells.

“It was an issue that we thought was really important,” Ms. Neave said in an interview on Tuesday. “We know that women don’t always get to the point of reporting the incident, and when they have the courage to voluntarily undergo the test, that takes a lot of courage.

“My view is that the least thing we can do is make sure that we get these kits get tested,” she said. “We owe it to them.”

IF ONLY THERE WAS A MORE RELIABLE WAY FOR LEGISLATORS TO MAKE SURE THAT PRIORITIES LIKE THIS ARE FUCKING FUNDED WITHOUT HAVING TO RESORT TO BEGGING. I know I heard of a way to do this. Gosh, how could it be done.

BTW- part of rape culture is not taking rape seriously enough to TEST THE FUCKING RAPE KITS that women go through hell to provide to authorities.








A Day Without Women?

If I were a True Progressive(tm), I probably wouldn’t be writing this (although, in my defense, for me it’s the end of Tuesday rather than the beginning of Wednesday). Yes, I enjoy putting these posts together — since it’s unpaid labor, Cole could hardly fire me for noncompliance — but it does qualify as work, some days more than others.

Jia Tolentino, in the New Yorker, on “The Women’s Strike and the Messy Space of Change”:

T[oday] is the Women’s Strike, the fourth of ten actions that have been called for by the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington. The strike was planned to coincide with International Women’s Day, and the march organizers, in tandem with a team organizing protests in forty countries around the world, have asked women to take whatever form of action their lives allow for. Take the day off from “paid and unpaid labor,” including housework and child care, if you can, or avoid shopping at corporate or male-owned businesses, or simply wear red in solidarity. There will be rallies in at least fifty cities around the United States.

Comparisons between the strike and the post-Inauguration march—now estimated to be the largest political demonstration in U.S. history—are inevitable, and likely to be unfavorable to the strikers. The decline in unionization has insured that most American workers are unfamiliar with striking and what it entails. And it is, of course, much harder to strike on a weekday than to protest on a Saturday. It is also more difficult to facilitate, measure, and publicize absence than it is to celebrate presence, the way one does at a march. When tens of thousands of immigrants went on strike on February 16th, they did attract some favorable public attention—as well as employer retribution—but a general strike the next day, and a tech-industry strike one week later, escaped public notice almost completely…

From the Washington Post, “The expensive problem with the ‘Day Without a Woman’”:

Rosie Molina, who works at a District restaurant for $7.50 an hour, woke early to march on the Mall in January. Then she rushed downtown for an afternoon shift. Molina was proud to have briefly joined the movement — her cause is immigrant rights — but she cannot afford to take part in Wednesday’s strike, which would cost her about $60. That’s two weeks of groceries.

“I’m a single mother,” Molina said. “I don’t have the luxury. The last time I took a day off, my paycheck was very low.”

Taria Vines, 44, who makes about $350 each week as a caterer in the Bronx, decided to take the day off to march Wednesday in the nation’s capital with some friends. Vines figures she’ll lose a chunk of pay — probably enough to cover her cellphone bill — but she still wanted to take a stand against sexual harassment and discrimination.

“It’s costing me money to do this,” she said, “but if I don’t fight for what’s right for me, who will?”…
Read more



The Takes- THEY ARE SO HOT

Full time douche canoe and State Senator Chris McDaniel took to facebook with this bit of idiocy:

He’s proud of that, too! A couple of quick things:

1.) The protests were not about free birth control.

2.) This is when you can tell they are spooked- when all they have is dumbassery to puke up. You’ve no doubt seen some of the other crap the wingnuts have tried- pictures of trash left behind after the march gasping about dirty liberals, idiots wondering “what did it accomplish,” or others barfing up stuff like “what if they had not spent money on tickets and donated it to women’s shelters” and on and on. When you see that, what you should recognize is that the protests worked and it unnerved them. They have no response, so rather than confront the issue head on, they’ll bicker around the edges.

3.) And I am sure David Anderson aka Richard Mayhew will chime in, but for now, THIS IS NOT HOW INSURANCE WORKS. INSURANCE IS NOT FREE SHIT. INSURANCE IS SOMETHING WE ALL PAY INTO TO HAVE THINGS COVERED.

So when women mention that birth control should be covered by insurance, it’s not because they want free shit, it’s because they want their health needs treated equally to men’s health needs. Additionally, while called “birth control,” birth control isn’t just for stopping unwanted pregnancies.

So a hearty middle finger to the full time penis impersonator from Mississippi, who not only is an asshole, but a stupid asshole who doesn’t even know what health insurance is and how it works.



Two Down, Four to Go

States, that is, on the way to DC (we’re staying in MD). Greetings from your Balloon Juice Women’s March road crew.

Nice weather so far. We’re behind the rain band that I hope will unleash torrents on the shitgibbon’s absurd combover and cause the makeup worn by the interchangeable statuesque females in his entourage to run down their faces in ugly black rivulets.

Valued commenter SectionH had a nice idea in the early morning thread: people who are attending a march offering to carry the names of friends who can’t. I’m carrying the name of every single one of you jackals, right here on my phone, whether you like it or not.

Open thread!



REPOST: Women’s March On (Your City Here): Let’s Meet-Up

Artwork is attributed to Patrick Sean Farley (though I could not verify)

Reposting this  by request:

When Betty posted about attending  about attending the Women’s March on Washington, I saw there were a lot of people going to local marches. There is one in Denver:

Women’s March on Denver

January 21, 2017
9 am – 3 pm
Denver’s Civic Center Park
Marching in Solidarity for Human Rights…

Any Colorado folk want to do a meet-up for the march. Even if I can’t make it, I’ll help organize it.

Why don’t we use this thread to see if we there is any interest for meetups in other cities.

And I’m hoping Betty C and anyone else going to the marches will live blog/tweet their adventures – or at least provide photos after the fact.

If you have photos from your event, email them to me (whats4dinnersolutions at live dot com) and I’ll put together a post after the events.



Evidence based care in Medicaid

We want to do evidence based care.  We want to do things that work and avoid things that don’t work.  This sounds simple.  Let’s look at two very good natural experiments on unintended pregnancy rates:

Colorado:

    Since 2008, Colorado has successfully increased access to family planning services throughout the state, particularly for the most effective contraceptive methods, such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants.

  • The Colorado Family Planning Initiative has increased health care provider education and training and reduced costs for more expensive contraceptive options, enabling more than 30,000 women in the state to choose long-acting reversible contraception….
  • When contraception, particularly the long-acting methods, became more readily available in Colorado between 2009 and 2013, the abortion rate fell 42 percent among all women ages 15 to 19 and 18 percent among women ages 20 to 24.
  • Colorado is a national leader in the use of long-acting reversible contraception, and reducing teen pregnancy and repeat pregnancies.

    • Teen birth rates in our state have declined more rapidly than in any other state or the nation as a whole.
  • The birth rate for Medicaid-eligible women ages 15 to 24 dropped sharply from 2010 to 2012, resulting in an estimated $49 million to $111 million avoided expenses in Medicaid birth-related costs alone.

More reliable and effective contraception was made available to Colorado women who had the choice to elect Long Acting Reverisble Contraception (LARC) or do something else.  A significant number of women elected to use LARC and the increased autonomy and reliability produced amazingly good results.

Texas

 

Reducing contraceptive availability led to higher abortion rates and higher unplanned pregnancies. Earlier live births have massively negative multi-generational repercussions for both the parents and kids.

The evidence strong suggests that significant improvements in quality of life can be made and significant expenditures reduced if contraception is made readily available.

And guess what Congress will consider to be a high priority:

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Thursday that Republicans will move to strip all federal funding for Planned Parenthood as part of the process they are using early this year to dismantle Obamacare.

Wahoo… the evidence will strongly support the hypothesis that this policy will lead to more unintended pregnancies, more abortions and far worse outcomes for far more Americans.

Evidence based policy making — Hoo Yaa



Why we can’t have success

The kids these days…

They’re more than alright… they, as a cohort, engage in far less dumb, risk seeking behavior than my cohort did at the same point in my life.

There are two major components of the decline. The first is that kids these days are far less stupid and idiotic and risk taking thrill seekers compared to twenty years ago. This would be Kevin Drum’s Lead hypothesis. As teenagers grow up with far lower exposures to known neurotoxins that impede judgement and encourage short term gratification, they use more judgement and think about the future a little more. They’re still teenagers but they are not stupid. Compared to my teen years, teens are having less sex. However over the past nine years, the amount of sex teens are having is fairly constant.

The other major component of the decline is far more frequent and effective contraception use. Guttmacher found that the entire decline in pregnancy rates among teens was the uptake in effective birth control utilization:

Sexual activity in the last 3 months did not change significantly from 2007 to 2012. Pregnancy risk declined among sexually active adolescent women (p = .046), with significant increases in the use of any method (78%–86%, p = .046) and multiple methods (26%–37%, p = .046). Use of highly effective methods increased significantly from 2007 to 2009 (38%–51%, p = .010). Overall, the PRI declined at an annual rate of 5.6% (p = .071) from 2007 to 2012 and correlated with birth and pregnancy rate declines. Decomposition estimated that this decline was entirely attributable to improvements in contraceptive use.

So the question going forward is whether or not we’ll see those trend lines break?

I think we will. The Federal government will go all in again on ineffective abstinence based misinformation. Essential health benefits will be redefined to exclude most highly effective birth control methods (oral hormones, IUDs, implants etc). Awareness of what works will decrease while access will decline. If we hold the amount of sex being had constant, that means more pregnancies.

I also predict that the older teens will see a lower bounce in their age adjusted pregnancy risk than younger teens. Older teens have some money, they have some knowledge of how to work the system and most importantly, the women who know that they are at high risk of unplanned pregnancy have had the ability to get long acting and reversible contraception (IUDs) to control their risk and maintain their autonomy. Younger teens in the Trump administration won’t have those advantages. I expect births to mothers under the age of 15 to increase at a higher rate than births to mothers at age 18.