Study Uncovers Troubling News About Women’s Health in Texas

According to a recent study conducted by the researchers at the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP), over 100,000 women in Texas have attempted to self-induce an abortion at some point in their lives.

The researchers surveyed 779 women between the ages of 18 and 49, and found that 1.7 percent had tried to terminate their own pregnancy without seeking medical assistance. Another 4.7 percent reported that they knew someone who had attempted to self-induce an abortion. The researchers extrapolated based on this data to conclude that of the 6 million women between the ages of 18 and 49 living in Texas, between 100,000 and 240,000 have attempted to self-induce abortion.

The most common reasons cited by women surveyed in the study were a lack of access to clinical care, fear of the social stigma associated with abortion, and a lack of money to pay for the procedure. This is a harsh reminder that these issues are often most detrimental to economically disadvantaged women.

The TxPEP found that women typically attempted one of two methods to terminate pregnancies. Some would acquire medication from nearby Mexico, while others would try ineffective folk remedies that call for the ingestion of certain herbs and vitamins.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, weighed in on the study’s findings in a recent statement. “We are getting a sense of the very real impact these restrictions have on women, and it’s deeply disturbing. Most people thought we were well past the days of women taking matters into their own hands, but laws that make it impossible to get safe and legal abortion are taking us backwards,” said Richards.

We’re fortunate enough to live in a state where the legislation governing women’s health is not nearly as restrictive. Remember: you are not alone. Please feel free to call us any time to speak confidentially with one of the caring, qualified healthcare professionals at South Avenue Women’s Services.

Religion, America, and Abortion

Now that the 2016 Presidential Election is heating up (as much as something can heat up although more than a year away), we are seeing a lot of rhetoric and hatred being spewed and spun by Republicans and other conservatives. They are throwing the book out on just about every freedom in America – and none more prominent on the campaign trail than a woman’s right to choose, what she does with her body, and the issue of abortion. Watching these speeches and how many Americans are in the audience may lead you to believe that most religious people are against progressive sexual healthcare, but you would be wrong, according to a recent study by the Religious Institute.

Alex Zielinski writes, “The Religious Right tries to say it owns these issues, but the majority of religious Americans support sexual health. It’s time to change the conversation. The year-long study found that the majority of religious Americans (excluding evangelicals) support legalizing abortion, and that more religious women get abortions in their lifetime than those who don’t affiliate themselves with a religion.”

It seems that pundits are using religious fervor to promote their sexist and narrow-minded agendas. That’s not that surprising; people have been doing that for years, but it’s refreshing to see that America’s spiritual side isn’t as discriminatory and inflammatory as the TV makes it out to be. Maybe there’s hope for the nation after all. Maybe there’s too much power in the hands of TV pundits. Who really wants to take away your rights and threaten your health?

Why It’s Okay to Have an Abortion

You likely have at least a few people in your life that would look down on you if you got an abortion. The good news is it’s not their decision, it’s yours! Whether you just found out you’re pregnant or you’re worried in general about what would happen if you became pregnant, we’re here to tell you having an abortion is okay. The following are just some of the reasons why abortions should be an option available to every woman.

One of the most obvious and urgent issues to have an abortion is because the pregnancy put’s your life at risk. Regardless of the reason, some pregnancies have complications that can result in the death of the mother. While not common, it can be an incredibly scary prospect for anyone to face. You should always have the choice to save your life when it’s possible, which is why abortions are a viable solution in these instances.

Slightly less serious but still important, you may simply not be ready to have a child. Whether you have a demanding career and no one else to help you take care of the baby, or you’re still in school and don’t have the financial means to take care of one, it’s okay. Having an abortion now doesn’t mean you don’t ever want to have a child. Now just may not be the right time in your life.

Many women choose to have an abortion because they have no relationship or a bad one with the father. They don’t want a child to tie this person to their life forever. Worse yet, many pregnancies are the result of nonconsensual sex. You shouldn’t be forced to carry, deliver, and a raise a child that was conceived during a sexual assault.

These are just some of the many reasons why women choose to have abortions, and regardless of your reason we’re always here for you.

Early Signs You May Be Pregnant

Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or it’s the last thing on your mind, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if you actually are. There are many symptoms associated with pregnancy, especially in the early stages, and many of them can be caused by a wide range of health conditions. The odds of being pregnant increase with the more of these symptoms you’re experiencing at once. The following are a few of the early signs you should be on the lookout for.

Cramps can be a major indication that you are pregnant, but they are also a common symptom of having your period? How can you tell the difference? Well, if you missed your period that should be one sign. On top of that if you’re still getting cramps, it could be caused by a fertilized egg implanting in the wall of your uterus. The cramps can feel almost identical to the type you get during your period.

Unusual fatigue and soreness is also an early sign of pregnancy. While of course these are symptoms of a lot of things, coupled together and with a few other signs there is a good chance you may be pregnant. Hormone levels change in the body once you become pregnant, which could drastically alter your sleeping schedule. As for soreness, you may be feeling most of the pain in your breasts if you’re actually pregnant. That’s because pregnancy often leads to breasts growing bigger and tenderer.

Other early signs include unusual cravings for food, frequent urination, and nausea. If you’re experiencing any or all of the symptoms for more than a few days, you may want to visit a health care professional or at least take a pregnancy test.

Ireland’s Abortion Pill Bus

The world at its worst makes us sick, with increasing numbers of politicians hopping on the pro-life bus essentially doing all they can to destroy the rights of women. We see stories about this on a daily basis, much of which we cover in this blog. There are some stories, however, that pull us out of the abyss of political reality and into the realm of uplifting, positive possibility, a world where equality is had by all and a woman’s body is not used as political soapbox for a talking head to stand on and preach. Who would’ve thought that this world would come in the form of an abortion bus in Ireland? Vice News covered the topic and it makes for a very fascinating read.

Sally Hayden, who covered the journey of the abortion bus, writes, “Limerick was the third destination on a whistle-stop tour for the “abortion pill bus,” an action by an Irish activist group called ROSA (short for Reproductive rights, against Oppression, Sexism, and Austerity), which has seen a group of mainly young, mostly Irish women openly defy Ireland’s strict abortion laws. Those laws prohibit the distribution of medical abortion pills, and criminalize abortions in almost any situation, including in cases of rape, incest, or fatal fetal impairment.”

Because Ireland is a strict Catholic country, abortion is cause for much strife, with the rights of women being constantly scrutinized and, in some areas, limited. The people who work the bus vary in ages, from 16 to 48. The entire journey is a two-day, 409-mile trip around Ireland. Workers on the bus are handing out abortion pills to women who take the time to board the bus, this of course coming after an online talk with a doctor. People on the abortion bus are playing with fire and risking possible jail time. At South Avenue Women’s Services, we salute them and lend our support. There are brave people all over the world fighting the good fight.

Determining Which Form of Birth Control Is Right for You

Whether you’re thinking up asking your doctor about birth control for the first time in your life, or you’re unhappy with your current birth control, we’re here to help. The good news is that there are a wide range of options to choose from, all of which come with positives and negatives. Fortunately, most forms of birth control today are highly effective at preventing pregnancies, but finding the right one for you may seem like a challenge. We’re here to give you a few things to consider that may help you narrow down your selection.

One of the first things you should determine is whether or not you ever want to have children, and if so, how soon. Birth control pills, condoms, and some other forms can be stopped at any time, allowing you to get pregnant whenever you want. Other forms, like an IUD, are designed to last several years at a time. You may want to choose a less permanent option if you aren’t sure when you want kids.

You also need to look at the side effects of each option, and also take into account any health conditions you are currently dealing with. While many forms of birth control have minimal side effects, some can affect you in potentially unexpected ways. For example, because birth control pills affect your hormones, they can affect everything from the frequency of your period to changes in mood. Any side effects that you experience should be discussed with your doctor.

Take some time to learn about all of the forms of birth control available to you, and talk with your doctor if you have any questions. You can also ask friends and family members about their experiences with various types of birth control if you want a more personal opinion. With a little bit of research you should have no trouble finding the right option for you.

Abortion in Arizona

Everyday it seems like there is controversy regarding abortion. Most of the time this controversy stems from the fact that there are some politicians in control who want to see a diminishing of women’s rights; they just mask their intentions by catering to prolife lobby groups and think tanks. Certainly not a hotbed of progressivism, Arizona continues to make its situation worse; abortion law has gone through a war in that state, especially over the last ten years, as Christian advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy battles the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and other prochoice organizations. Recent development in terms of abortion law has been dutifully covered by AZ Central.

The paper reports, “For the second time in two days, a judge has struck a blow to an Arizona abortion law. On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan issued a preliminary injunction officially halting the law that requires doctors to tell patients a medication abortion can be reversed.

A trial scheduled for next week on the new law, approved this year by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey, was canceled. According to court records, the state asked the court to postpone the trial because they needed more time to prepare and seek experts qualified to testify about the reversal protocol. The underlying case continues to work its way through the courts.”

Continues to work its way through the courts? Of course, it is – the battle in Arizona over women’s rights will continue to wage, with seemingly no end in sight. Arizona is just one example of the larger, national abortion fight occurring all over the country; there are trenches in every state. We only hope that cooler heads will prevail and women’s rights nationwide will be protected.

The Relationship between Women and Their Healthcare Providers

How much do people really know about abortion or the laws associated with it? If the recent lead up to the 2016 presidential race is any indication then the country as a whole doesn’t know very much. At South Avenue Women’s Services, we’re here to enlighten you with the help of Newsweek.

Donna Barry writes, “Healthcare providers and women seeking abortions are increasingly subjected to legal requirements that make abortion care more difficult to obtain. These requirements are contrary to medical evidence and best practices, in addition to interfering with the relationship between healthcare providers and their patients.”

These legal requirements may deal with state laws or certain legislation bills, which is a shame, because these restrictions usually go against the top medical evidence regarding abortions, but even more unsettling is the fact that these requirements act as walls separating patients and their healthcare providers. Many see this as an invasion and health rights and are doing all they can to tear down these walls, including drafting bills that will improve women’s access to evidence-based healthcare. Many refer to these actions as a proactive policy and although they differ from state to state, it is nevertheless encouraging to see a concerted effort to protect women’s health and their relationships with the medical community.

It’s crazy to think of the world that we live in, a place where the rights of women are constantly in flux, where their health is not taken into consideration. We must all do our part to ensure that there is a respect for the womanly body.

American Anti-Abortion Spreading around the World

Some days it feels that America is the world capital of anti-abortion, like when you find yourself reading the comments on Internet news articles; it can seem a bit depraved that there are so many people out there that support the limiting of a woman’s rights. Then there are the many politicians who actively seek to make anti-abortion a key part of their campaigns. In their minds, that’s how they get votes. Most of the time, their rhetoric is very vitriolic and full of hatred. The atmosphere, to put it mildly, is very suffocating.

This is a war on women, plain and simple, run by misinformed people with clear agendas. It’s bad enough to have them this side of the ocean. It’s another thing entirely to have them overseas and promoting their message. Unfortunately America seems to be exporting these kinds of people to places all over the world. We have to ask ourselves: is this how we want to be viewed around the world? As women haters and warmongers? Of course not, but it seems there isn’t much we can do about it. Did you know that Australia is poised to deport an American anti-abortion activist?

According to, “An American anti-abortion activist is expected to be deported from Australia, after the nation’s highest court ruled Friday that he posed a threat to public order amid concerns he could incite violence against women.”

Clearly, that is definitely not the kind of thing we want to promote around the world, but it’s best if we let Australian politician Terri Butler handle it. Regarding the incident, she said, “Here in Australia, we are a very open democracy. We have a lot of discussion, frank discussion, vehement discussion, about issues on which we disagree. And abortion is one of those things. But we don’t welcome extremists into our country.”

Is that what America has become? No longer lighting the torch of freedom for the entire world to see, but rather, putting our extremists on a bigoted Mayflower and sending them out to sea? We’re better than this.

Women’s Issues Are Key in This Election

The next president of the United States won’t win without the support of women on their side, especially considering that more than half of the electorate is female. Naturally, this means that issues important to women will be front and center throughout the election cycle. While most women care about the same issues that are important to everyone, there are many issues specifically related to women that are an increasingly important focus for candidates.

Having access to affordable healthcare is important for everyone, and millions of women throughout the country rely on services like Planned Parenthood. While many candidates focus on the fact that Planned Parenthood provides abortions, it’s actually very little of what they do. The organization is instrumental when it comes to helping women get contraception, healthcare, and so much more. Any candidates who try to rally against Planned Parenthood will have a tough time winning over most women.

The economy is also something that women are incredibly concerned about. Polling indicates this is true for women in all age groups, and relevant to both single women and people with families. Whether we’re looking at young women right out of college or older women trying to support a family, a stable economy and an expanding job market are a primary concern.

Finally, preventing domestic abuse and sexual assault are two things that most women and many men are concerned with. These are two issues that affect millions of women every year, yet countless incidents go unreported and many that do lead nowhere. Women want to be able to feel just as safe as men in their homes or on the street, and criminals who attack women must be held accountable.

There are many issues that women are concerned with, and these are just a few of the most important. It will be important to watch which candidates represent these issues as we move closer to the election.