There are two great pieces you should read today about women's health and equality. Both of them are from Think Progress because in my opinion, that outlet does the best job at consistently covering women-specific news issues on a national scale.
The first has to deal with my favorite party topic and/or first date ice breaker, abortion. It turns out that a majority of Americans can't correctly answer a set of five basic survey questions about abortion—like, whether or not it's legal in the U.S. during the first trimester or whether it causes a greater risk for cancer or mental illness. But here's the most surprising part, in my opinion:
The authors found that the people who live in blue states are no more likely to be well-informed about abortion than the people who live in red states.
... The researchers who conducted the study say their results point to serious shortcomings in our education policy. They conclude that “men and women making sexual and reproductive health decisions may not be well informed about the relative safety and consequences of their choices, highlighting a need for the provision of better, more comprehensive and evidence-based sexual and reproductive health education.” That conclusion is supported by previous research suggesting we need to start sex ed much earlier than high school.
Here's the full study conducted by the University of Cincinnati researchers, along with the percentage of respondents who answered each question correctly. I encourage you to go check it out.
In other lady news, yesterday Think Progress posted an interesting story about airports in several conservative states like Kentucky, Texas, and Ohio, that are blocking a women's rights group called Ultraviolet from buying ads that highlight how badly these states treat their female residents.:
[The ads are] “designed to elevate issues like paycheck fairness, minimum wage increases, and paid family leave and to expose the ongoing attacks on women’s health and economic security,” Karin Roland, campaign director at Ultra Violet, told ThinkProgress. “The goal is to shame and pressure candidates with industries that rely on tourism to make them champions for these causes.”
But despite this political goal, the group insists that the ads themselves are merely fact-based. “Women being discriminated against and the facts…aren’t issue advertising,” Roland said. “It’s just reality for women.”
That’s not how the airports view them. Spokespeople from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, Port Columbus International Airport in Ohio, and Louisville International Airport in Kentucky all confirmed that the airports had rejected the ads, offering very similar explanations: they were rejected for being political, violating guidelines.
The beauty of this campaign is that it's a win either way: Airports can place the ads, as one in Florida did, or they get bad press for blocking the ads (which are, by the way, absolutely lovely).