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Weekly Pulse: DIY Abortions on the Border, Pawlenty Screws MN on SexEd

by Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger

Women on along U.S.-Mexico border are buying black market misoprostol to induce abortions, according to a new report by Laura Tillman in the Nation. The drug is easily available over the counter in Mexico.

DIY abortion is cheaper—a bottle of misoprostol costs can cost as little as $70, a fraction of the price of a medical abortion. The DIY approach can also be more convenient and private. One abortion provider told Tillman that about 20% of his patients tried misoprostol before coming to see him.

He estimates that many others took the drug successfully. Misoprostol is about 80%-85% effective when used as directed, but if it doesn't work the woman needs immediate medical help. Potential complications include severe bleeding and uterine rupture. For more information on misoprostol abortions, see last week's edition of the Weekly Pulse.

Comprehensive ignorance

As the bumper sticker slogan goes: If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota bought some very expensive ignorance this week by turning down $850,000 in federal funding for comprehensive sex education through the federal Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP).

According to Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent, Pawlenty opted to apply for the Title V State Abstinence Education Grant Program instead of the PREP, a comprehensive sex ed program. Comprehensive sex ed teaches kids how to say no to sex and how to reduce their risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections if they do become sexually active. Now, cash-strapped Minnesota will have to come up with $379,307 in state funds in order to get $505,743 in federal funding for abstinence-only-until-hetero-marriage education.

Robin Marty of RH Reality Check observes that Pawlenty is trying to burnish his conservative credentials in advance of a possible presidential run in 2012. It's part of a national race to the bottom where conservative presidential hopefuls compete to see who can take away more rights from women.

E. coli comes home to roost

The agribusiness giant Cargill Meat Solutions recalled 8,500 pounds of ground beef after 3 people contracted salmonella, Mac McDaniel reports for Care2. The Cargill recall comes on the heels of the largest egg recall in U.S. history. So far, 550 million potentially salmonella-tainted eggs from to factory farms in Iowa have been recalled. McDaniel argues that these food recalls should prompt a larger discussion about the state of our food safety net and the wisdom of factory farming.

At AlterNet, food scientist and activist Dr. Marion Nestle writes that "Industrial egg operations have gotten out of hand in size, waste, and lack of safety." So far, at least 1500 people caught salmonella from tainted Iowa eggs. Nestle urges the Senate to pass the long-awaited food safety bill, S. 510, which the upper chamber has been sitting on for over a year. It's about time. Powerful agribusiness interests have hijacked the regulatory process for too long. The chickens are coming home to roost.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive   reporting about health care by members  of The Media Consortium.  It  is free to reprint. Visit the Pulse  for  a complete list of articles on health care reform, or follow us on  Twitter. And for the best   progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care  and  immigration issues, check out The Audit,  The Mulch,   and The   Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of  leading independent media outlets.

Originally posted to The Media Consortium on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 10:04 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Pawlenty's job (0+ / 0-)

    He's setting himself up to be the bland, colorless apparatchik who doesn't stand for anything, who pulls about 3% in early primary races before dropping out and endorsing whomever he deems the likely winner, in hopes of a Cabinet post or VP slot.

    As a Minnesotan, frankly, I prefer Michele Bachmann to Pawlenty. At least you know what she stands for! Pawlenty has to stick a wet finger in the breeze to figure out what his positions are today, except of course for his lips permanently planted on the ass of the Tax Evader's Union.

    The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Republicans are idiots and proud of it, Dems are idiots and ashamed of it.

    by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 10:14:23 AM PDT

  •  new (0+ / 0-)

    Pawlenty is trying to sound like GWB.  If anyone remembers the PREFAR funding to fight HIV in Africa, much of that money was wasted on "Abstinence Education, which does nothing to stop the problem of women who are married to HIV carrying spouses.

    I expect him to start saying that parents should start demanding that their female off-spring should be fitted with chastity-belts!  Funding from the gov't or maybe just a tax deduction for this "medical necessity".

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