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The Mamafesto: A look at reproductive health news that impacts moms

Avital Norman Nathman is a freelance writer whose work places a feminist lens on a variety of topics, including motherhood, maternal health, gender, and reproductive rights. Her work has been featured in Bitch magazine, Cosmopolitan.com,...

From IUDs to abortion, all the repro-justice news you need to know

Not a day goes by where a reproductive health law isn't passed or challenged, or a politician doesn't say something questionable regarding the female reproductive system or the way birth control works. So today, let's take a look at the top repro-justice stories to come across our feeds that made us go hmm…

Congressman comes out as pro-choice! Big news out of Ohio, where Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan officially changed his position on abortion, saying that he is now pro-choice, after previously identifying as pro-life. Ryan came to this change of heart after actually speaking with women (go figure!) and hearing their stories and all the various reasons many of them chose an abortion. In an op/ed for the Akron Beacon Journal, Ryan writes, "And while there are people of good conscience on both sides of this argument, one thing has become abundantly clear to me: the heavy hand of government must not make this decision for women and families."

In a time when many in Congress are fighting to restrict health care access for women, seeing Ryan come out so vocally about his changing thoughts is big, and who knows? Maybe more politicians will follow suit? (A mom can dream after all…)

State senator from Colorado has no idea how IUDs work. Speaking out against a bill that would allow low-income women to gain access to long-lasting contraceptive devices like IUDs, Republican State Senator Kevin Lundberg described IUDs as potentially "stopping a small child from implanting." (Although it seems like he might have been referring to the fertilized egg?) Senator, I am no OB-GYN or midwife — although both can easily explain to you how IUDs work, and clarify that no small children are harmed in their implementation. However, I am the proud and happy owner of a Mirena IUD. It sits right up in my uterus, and I can safely say, that in my years of having one, it has yet to come face to face with a small child. In fact, IUDs work by preventing sperm from entering the uterus, so no fertilized egg (or "small child") involved!

It frightens me that male politicians (and those who fund them) are the ones attempting to restrict female health care access like contraception and abortion, especially when they have no idea how these things work. This isn't the first time either. Please recall the time Foster Friess suggested putting an aspirin between your knees is effective birth control.

GOP Congresswomen derail 20-week abortion ban. Republicans pushing for a bill that would outlaw abortion after 20 weeks — regardless of circumstance — saw it fall flat due to in-party disagreement. Those that suggested the bill was too stringent were mostly female Republicans, who did not appreciate that the bill did not have any caveats for rape cases. While the topic of abortion will always be a hotly contested one in Congress, it's heartening to see Conservative Congresswomen acknowledging that there's no cut and dry answer when it comes to this type of reproductive health care, and refusing to make blanket bans that could have potentially dire consequences.

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The Mamafesto: Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Feminist hero and total badass

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