Viewpoints: Menstrual Stigma Prevents Women From Receiving Proper Care
Editorial writers examine these public health topics.
To Better Understand Women's Health, We Need To Destigmatize Menstrual Blood
Women with endometriosis are often told they are pain-pill seekers, scam artists trying to take advantage of the health system. They are called “disruptive,” “crazy,” “faking it” and “psychosomatic.” They are told that their pain may be in their heads and to move beyond it. To stop being—well, stop being a woman. We are talking about young teens and women with endometriosis who want a diagnosis, effective treatments and compassionate care. There is no cure, and these women deserve one. (Christine N. Metz, 5/13)
Los Angeles Times:
Would 'Menstrual Leave' Create A Backlash Against Women In The Workplace?
Last week, Spain signaled it may become one of a handful of countries offering workers a benefit called “menstrual leave” for people whose periods are accompanied by debilitating pain. The country is also considering abolishing the “tampon tax,” something California did, at least temporarily, in 2020 and the United Kingdom did last year. In 2020, Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products such as tampons and pads free to anyone who needs them. (Robin Abcarian, 5/15)
On Roe v. Wade —
Why — And How — We Need To Talk About Racial Disparities In Abortion Rates
Remember the old days when President Bill Clinton brought a temporary calm to the raging abortion debate by declaring the ultra-controversial procedure should be “safe, legal and rare?” That was in 1992, when compromise still sounded like an achievable goal in Washington. Trend lines already were showing abortion to be in a slow but persistent decline across major demographic groups, although not nearly fast enough to satisfy the politically potent anti-abortion movement. (Clarence Page, 5/13)
How Abortion Clinic Protesters Are Emboldened By Supreme Court's Roe Draft Opinion Leak
When the leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s impending decision on Roe v. Wade came out last week, one of my first thoughts was: I’ve got to get to the clinic. Since early last fall, I’ve volunteered as an escort at my local abortion clinic in North Carolina, helping patients and their companions make it through the front doors without getting stopped and harassed by the anti-abortion protesters that congregate daily outside. (Rachel Simon, 5/14)
Zoonotic Spillover Is One Of The Greatest Threats Humanity Is Facing
The word zoonosis comes from the Greek for “animal disease.” It applies to pathogens that can jump both between critters and from them to us. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, hopped to humans from chimps, for example. MERS, a respiratory virus, spread to us from dromedary camels. Ebola probably came from apes, monkeys or bats, or all of them. In similar ways, we’ve imported hundreds of other ills from the wild kingdom — not least, SARS-CoV-2, which we also picked up from bats. (Andreas Kluth, 5/16)
Could ‘Superbugs' Drive The Next Pandemic?
There's up to a 57% chance that another pandemic of COVID-19 proportions will occur in within the next 25 years, according to risk-modeling firm Metabiota. In other words, it's likely not a matter of if, but rather when, we will face the next infectious-disease crisis. Experts even have rough ideas of how this future crisis will emerge—and it's increasingly possible that it could be a bacterium that resists all existing medicine. (Kenneth Thorpe, 5/13)
Dallas Morning News:
The Data Say Texas Should Expand Medicaid
It’s been a little over two years since I wrote an op-ed for this newspaper aiming to present, in an objective non-partisan way, the enormous benefits of Medicaid expansion for Texas: healthier people living better and more dignified lives, vast economic growth and job creation, and net revenue growth for state and local budgets (without new taxes). Theories and myths about the perils of Medicaid expansion, I explained, had long since been disproven and dispelled by empirical data from the 36 (now 38) states that had already expanded Medicaid. (Nathan Johnson, 5/15)
The Boston Globe:
The Next ‘Massachusetts Miracle’
At Flagship Pioneering, we start our scientific explorations by asking “What If?” to imagine a future outcome or capability, unconstrained by what seems possible today. In 2010 we asked: What if patients could make drugs inside their own bodies? The answer led us to create LS18 — our 18th life science company — better known as Moderna. (Noubar Afeyan, 5/13)