Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Basketball, Birth Control and Bloggers: Pgh Women Round Up

From today's Tribune Review comes word that a local young woman is a finalist for a slot on the USA's womens basketball team. Charal Allen, a graduate of Monessen, and current senior at Notre Dame has this to say about her accomplishment:
"This means the world to me," Allen said. "Not only do I have the opportunity to
represent the U.S., but also my family, my school and everyone around me
that has been so supportive -- I'm just very excited to have had the
opportunity to tryout.
"I'm going to go and work as hard as I can, bring my game, and do
whatever I have to so I can make the team."

I am soooo not an athlete and don't really follow sports that closely, but I think it is important that women and girls have equal opportunities to participate and hone their skills. Young women like Charal illustrate why it was so important to get Rene Portland out of Penn State. Go Charal!

Today the FDA approved Lybrel, the first birth control pill intended to stop our menstruation all together. It will hit the market in July. The pill contains a low dose of two hormones already widely used in birth-control pills, ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel. Some are lauding the end of menstrual issues; others are concerned about the medicalization of menstruation, especially given the lack of understanding of the long-term effects.

Does this give women control over our bodies? Consider this - with Lybrel, it is difficult to determine you are pregnant (no BC pill is 100% effective) b/c there's no missed period. So conceivably you could discover a pregnancy in your second trimester. What would this mean for having access to abortions in states with restrictive laws? Huh.

Now I am fortunate not to need birth control (being a lesbian has its perks), but I do take birth control pills to treat endometriosis. I sure like having things regulated, minimal pain or discomfort, and less severe PMS symptoms. But I'd see no need to eliminate my period altogether. There's no allure for me. I use organic tampons and pads so I worry less about inserting unnecessary toxins and chemicals into my body.

The Chicago Foundation for Women has both sides of the debate.

I was going to write about women and blogging, but I'm saving that for a separate post. Your thoughts?


  1. There is something very unsettling to me when I think of a woman taking a drug that keeps her from doing something her body is made to do. I do not believe you should mess with that natual process. However, I do understand that there can be medical circumstances that you may take birth control for. But blocking a period all together?

    I do agree that it is dangerous to negate the early sign of pregancy, missed period, when you are taking something that is not 100% effective. It definitely would trap some women into having a baby they had not planned for. But then again that brings about the point of they do have a choice in this matter before they got pregnant. Like safer sex and not taking that particular type of birth control. There is two ends to everything I suppose.


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