Comprehensive Sex Ed, Preventing Sexual Violence, Plan B at the Pharmacy, Awesome Young Activists, and Good News for North Dakota!

Posted by Lauren Kuhlik
North Dakota, congratulations on your pro-choice ruling!

Federal court blocks enforcement of anti-choice North Dakota law: U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland called North Dakota’s fetal heartbeat law, which could prohibit abortions after as little as 6 weeks, “blatantly unconstitutional.”  North Dakota has passed several anti-choice laws in the past few years, but federal judges are overturning or temporarily blocking many of them.  It’s great that federal judges are declaring these laws unconstitutional, but we must keep fighting against politicians who attempt to pass them in the first place.  Even when the most extreme ones are overturned, women still suffer when anti-choice laws restrict their decisions about their bodies and their access to reproductive care. [NBC]

Shocking news! Comprehensive sex education works: California’s teen birthrate is the lowest it’s been in decades.  Experts have attributed the decline in pregnancy and births to state laws that require sexual health education to be scientifically accurate.  In addition, workers at sexual health programs are trained in cultural sensitivity so that they can better connect with a variety of young people.  Let me state this clearly: abstinence only education does not work.  Accurate, comprehensive sex ed does.  Anyone who opposes comprehensive sex education is doing so for political reasons, and does not care that the data support these programs.  But, you know, good work to the Republicans who have prevented teachers from providing accurate information to their students.  That’s going to turn out really well, for sure. [LA Times]

Schools might be held accountable for their responses to sexual assault: A number of students have been filing complaints against their colleges under Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination.  They argue that their schools are violating Title IX by ignoring students’ calls for campus environments that are less conducive to sexual harassment and rape.  In addition, they argue that campuses should be penalized for underreporting sexual assault cases.  The US Department of Education has been paying more attention to these cases.  Here’s hoping that colleges work to prevent sexual assault, rather than merely to uphold their image. [Inside Higher Ed]

Plan B will be available but expensive: The Food and Drug Administration has given Teva Pharmaceuticals, the giant that produces Plan B One-Step, exclusive rights to sell its product over the counter for the next three years.  Plan B One-Step sells for $60-$70, whereas generic versions are $20-$30 cheaper.  Women who want the cheaper generic versions will have to show ID proving that they are 17 or older.  So emergency contraception will theoretically be available to more young women, which is awesome, but it will still be difficult to access for young, poor women, which is decidedly less awesome. [Think Progress]

Tuesday Cain is awesome; the rest of world is terrible: Tuesday Cain is a 14-year-old girl in Texas who gained Internet fame after holding up a sign that says “Jesus isn’t a dick; so keep him out of my vagina!”  Seriously, you go girl!  A bunch of Christian conservatives have taken to calling her a “whore” on Twitter.  I’m sure Jesus would have done the same.  Solid work, misogynists.  Let’s hope this girl doesn’t lose faith in humanity, because I think she could help out the pro-choice movement in a big way. For more commentary on this, check out Michelle‘s post. [Boing Boing]

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