Archive for the ‘ Health ’ Category

A Good Example of a Bad Idea

The Yuma Sun, an Arizona newspaper, reports that Arizonan Senators have approved a bill that will require the consent of all least one parent for minors to obtain birth control prescriptions or treatment for STDs/STIs (as well as any prescription). Additionally, the bill imposes similar restrictions on mental health screening or treatment and articulates that parental consent is required for student to attend sex education courses.

The Yuma Sun article references SB 1305, but indeed, it is SB 1309, passed on March 22, 16-13.

Let’s consider the good that this bill will do.

First of all, some young people will not be able to attend sexual education classes due to their parents’ beliefs. That will result in a less sexually educated teen population.

Then, those young people who are trying to take responsibility for their own health, will be unable to do so.

As is often the case, exceptions can be made for “emergency situations.” However, why must teens wait until a crisis to receive medical care?

Let’s just say I am seventeen and sexually active. I want to go on birth control so I don’t get pregnant. However, my parents must be contacted for permission. They don’t believe I should be sexually active. They beat the shit out of me. Alternatively, I don’t tell my parents, I don’t get the prescription, and I get pregnant.

Or, let’s just say I was raped by my father and exposed to an STI. It’s a horrible scenario, but it happens. I need treatment as a result, both medical and psychological. A parent must consent. My mom is dead. Dad’s not going to consent to something that is his own fault, risking getting himself in legal trouble. I’m screwed, unless it’s ruled an “emergency situation” defined “for the treatment of a serious disease of injury or drug abuse, or to save the life of the patient.”

Yes, these are horrible examples. Yes, we should encourage young people to wait until they are mature and responsible to have sex. Yes, it would be fantastic if all children can have an open and loving relationship with their parents.

However, things happen. Teenagers have sex. Not all parents are good. Can’t we at least let teenagers take some responsibility for their own health when they decide it is necessary? Isn’t that an adult behavior we should encourage?

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Spreading The Love

Cancer sucks. I learned this when my dad was diagnosed with liver cancer. I was five years old. Furthermore, cancer not only affects the individual, but whole families and communities.

The good thing is that some cancers can be detected early.

Danger S.

Stephanie (aka Disaster S.) of the Tallahassee Roller Girls was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer. Despite quick treatment with radiation and chemotherapy, the cancer has spread. She is now receiving Hospice care, according to the event’s Facebook page. (You can read more about Stephanie’s story here.)

The derby community has rallied around her, founding Spread the Love, “a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to fund-raising in order to support those like Stephanie who are fighting cervical cancer and promoting awareness of the importance of early detection through regular testing.” Currently, the money being raised is going to Stephanie cover her daily expenses, although in the future, they hope to expand to help others fight cervical cancer and provide assistance in the prevention and detection of cervical cancer. Unfortunately, we live in a country where many do not get preventative care or simple screenings until it is too late.

Today, I attended a fundraiser where many of the derby girls shaved their heads, as the result of having met their fund-raising goals. It was a powerful testament to the power of friendships, sisterhood, and teammates. (NOTE TO SELF: Possibly way to expand research on women in athletics. Beyond gendered bodies, sisterhood and bonding?)

Low Maim getting her head shaved, having exceeded her fund-raising goal of $500.

It was moving, and I wanted to share.

And for women and all cervix possessing folks, get your pap smears. Yes, it sucks, but really, it only takes a few seconds out of your year.