We Must Stop Catholic Hospitals From Closing More Labor and Delivery Units

When I became a registered nurse two decades ago, I chose to work at my local Catholic hospital: Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita, Kansas. This Mother’s Day provides a bleak reminder of the stark contrast between my Catholic employer’s public image and the reality inside its hospitals.

Ascension is one of the largest and wealthiest nonprofit and Catholic hospital systems in the United States. Ascension cut a quarter of its labor and delivery units, just in the last decade.

The Catholic health ministry boasts the mission of giving “special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable.” Act like it.

Busting Five Myths About Birth Control

Debunking myths about birth control is not just a matter of correcting misinformation; it is crucial for empowering individuals to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. 

Let’s explore some myths about contraception that the young people in your life may have seen online—including that it may make you infertile (not true!) and can cause cancer (quite the opposite!).

Menopause in Three Parts: Where Rivers Flow, Split and Unravel

When Rivers Flow: “Menstrual blood came with its own set of messages, whispers from my womb space that only I could decode. It was like embarking on a treasure hunt within myself, armed with nothing but a compass made of intuition and a hefty dose of trial and error. Creating my own map of this internal landscape wasn’t easy. I had to channel my inner cartographer and chart new territories with each cycle.”

When Rivers Split: “There was something special about a bunch of Black women who had already been where I was calling me with joy in their voices. … forming a kinship with our wombs is about learning to love ourselves, to treat ourselves with the same grace, kindness and high regard that the world demands of us as Black people with wombs.”

When Rivers Unravel: “Menopause would be that queer initiation, that modern-day rite of passage I had so longed for. And it would come at a price. My transition initiated a second puberty that changed everything about my body. This rite of passage pried off the mask of societal expectations I had inherited from my foremothers. Menopause set the mask on fire.”

Thinking Big With Haitian Midwives

In Haiti, there are high rates of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Founded in 2014, the Foundation for Advancement of Haitian Midwives (FAHM) partners with and supports Haitian midwives through education and outreach. Their work is urgent today while Haiti is in political turmoil, and unrelenting assaults by paramilitary groups have led to severe insecurity in the capital.

“Most people who are drawn to this want to produce safe competent, evidence-based care and to respect people’s voices, preserving the honor and dignity of every human being.”

Can Idaho ‘Force Someone Onto a Helicopter’ as the Standard of Medical Care for Accessing Health-Stabilizing Abortions?

In the wake of Dobbs, while most abortion-restrictive states have maintained an exception to preserve the health of the pregnant woman, a handful of ban states—including Idaho—no longer permit abortions needed to protect a pregnant person’s health. The Biden administration says this is in direct conflict with the federal statute EMTALA.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar encapsulated what Justice Sotomayor referred to as the “big daylight” between the two laws: “In Idaho, doctors have to shut their eyes to everything except death—whereas, under EMTALA, you’re supposed to be thinking about things like: Is she about to lose her fertility? Is her uterus going to become incredibly scarred because of the bleeding? Is she about to undergo the possibility of kidney failure?”

‘Tragedy Upon Tragedy’: What the Justices’ Questions on EMTALA Revealed

The narrowing of options for physicians in Idaho leaves them in a bind: Do you perform an abortion that could save a woman’s life or her organs, as dictated by EMTALA, or will you face penalties under Idaho law? 

Oral arguments can sometimes reveal how the justices of the Supreme Court are approaching the issue at hand. The questions asked by the justices suggest three things: a lack of clarity under Idaho law; abortion as the standard of care; and acknowledgement of fetal personhood.

Will the Supreme Court Dump Women’s Lives and Futures *Again*?

We’ve come to the point in post-Dobbs America where the legal system, and the nation’s highest Court, are now entertaining questions about how long is too long for a woman to have to wait to receive emergency care when her organs—including her reproductive organs—are in danger.

Will women again be failed by this Court? Or will the justices finally be able to look at the devastation they have caused to women and families and not blink? 

Idaho’s EMTALA Challenge Has Got Women Dead to Rights

On April 24, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Moyle v. U.S., a case that will determine whether individual states are allowed to exclude a single group from this basic protection: pregnant women.

The state of Idaho claims that it has the right to forbid pregnant women and girls—and only pregnant women and girls—from receiving emergency care that could save their lives.

Will SCOTUS Allow Pregnant Women to Die? Survivors Share ‘Dobbs’-Related Near-Death Experiences with the Court

On April 24, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases, Idaho v. United States  and Moyle v. United States, about whether states can prohibit doctors from treating women with life-threatening pregnancies until a patient’s condition deteriorates to the point where they are about to die.

Reproductive rights and legal advocates are collecting stories from over 100 women who almost died—and at least one who did—after being denied emergency abortion care.

Out of Touch on Menopause: Experts Respond to The Lancet’s ‘Over-Medicalization’ Claims

Menopause is gaining attention in the media and highest levels of government, including the White House—but we still have a long way to go to ensure women get the support they need. A recent series issued by a respected journal, The Lancet, proves this point. 

The series claims to promote an “empowerment model for managing menopause.” To us—more than 250 obstetrician-gynecologists, family medicine physicians, cardiologists, internists, urologists, medical oncologists, psychiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, nurse practitioners and licensed therapists—this was an unexpected and welcome opportunity.

The series was awash with misstatements that do not reflect the lived experience of women in this stage of life or our clinical experience in treating them.