Women's health stories

Mothers, of course, have abortions. And it’s time to accept they are the experts in their own lives | Gina Rushton

There are mothers and then there are women who have abortions. It might be the most powerful and pervasive myth anti-abortion lobbyists, politicians and their disciples have ever authored. When every termination becomes a decision to reject motherhood, moralising becomes simple. Mothers procreate – the virtuous archetype Virgin Mary didn’t even fornicate to do so – while women who have abortions have sex for pleasure, selfishly devouring the forbidden as Eve did.

When Is The Right Time To Freeze Your Eggs?

A woman sent an innocuous tweet from the frustration and isolation of the pandemic lockdown. “As a 35-year-old single woman who would like to have a family one day, these months dictate whether or not that can happen for me,” the July 2021 post lamented to the online world. The fury came fast. People accused her of wasting 34 years before the pandemic. They told her to “stop whining” and freeze her eggs.

Medical minefield: the murky world of Instagram advertising

The chief financial officer of Facebook, which owns Instagram, has said the rise in ad revenue during the second quarter of 2020 was primarily driven by small and medium-sized businesses. “In the last year, Instagram has radically pushed into pitching itself as the space of small business,” Professor Leaver says. “They spent the entire pandemic saying ‘we are the saviour of small business’ and you can basically run an entire business through Instagram and not need any other infrastructure.”

Ear wands, nerve machines and 'pussy mist': I asked medical experts whether I should buy the miracle cures I see in my Instagram ads

• Much of the growth in Instagram ad revenue in the second half of 2020 was due to small and medium-sized businesses, according to Facebook. • The surge in smaller businesses advertising on Instagram has led to a number of medical and wellness products being advertised under the noses of regulators. • I asked medical experts about whether the products I’m advertised on Instagram live up to their claims.

Lockdown pregnancies creating a 'shadow pandemic' of complications

Reproductive health and abortion providers say they are preparing for a 'shadow pandemic' following a wave of unintended pregnancies during the world's lockdowns. A heavily pregnant 19-year-old with high blood pressure lost her baby and went partially blind after she was turned away from a Port Moresby hospital in April, as the hospital had no temperature-testing facilities to confirm she was not carrying COVID-19.

Mesh-injured women win in the courts and Senate yet still wait for compensation

Women injured in vaginal mesh procedures have won a class action against Johnson & Johnson, but as the case drags on to an appeal, they are still waiting for compensation. When more than 1300 women with pelvic mesh devices won a seven-year legal battle against Johnson & Johnson in November, the judgement was so lengthy that one Federal Court staffer remarked they’d “need a forklift” to carry the printed version.

The fight for reproductive rights isn’t over in Australia until there’s equity in access

Abortion may be disappearing from criminal codes across Australia, but a lack of access to providers means the fight is far from over. You can see how long these battles have taken in the faces of the women who were on the front line. A few days before abortion was decriminalised in Queensland in October 2018, Beryl Holmes stood, supported by a cane, on the steps outside state parliament house for a rally in support of the bill. She had been fighting for this for almost 50 years. In the 1970s

These Women Are The Faces Of Australia’s Essential Workforce

Jocelyn Hoffman has stopped seeing her loved ones and spends her time reassuring patient’s families that their loved ones are okay. Hoffman is a registered nurse working at a NSW aged care facility, where she says patients are anxious about contracting COVID-19 and staff are anxious about infecting them. “After work we have to make sure we don’t compromise the health of our families by taking it home and at work we have to make sure we don’t compromise the health of our patients,” she said.

A Supplier Refused To Fill A Face Mask Order For An Australian Abortion Provider Because They're For "Health Professionals"

Australia's largest abortion provider says its supply of face masks and hand sanitiser for carrying out surgical abortions will only last two more weeks after a number of orders from private personal protective equipment (PPE) providers were cancelled or refused in the coronavirus pandemic. In one instance, a private company cancelled an order from Marie Stopes Australia (MSA) on the basis it was reserving supplies for "health professionals". The Australian government has also refused to suppl

Lots Of New Parents Are Seeking Mental Health Help As They Deal With Social Isolation And A Baby

There has been a 20% surge in callers to national Australian support group Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) as families grapple with social isolation in the new coronavirus pandemic. The helpline, which is now sourcing retired volunteers to meet current demand, is a “live thermometer” for how parents across Australia are coping, according to its chief executive Julie Borninkhof. "We have seen a significant increase in the number of new and expecting mums and dads across Aus

Women In Cambodia Are Using Facebook Messenger To Access Abortions And Sexual Health Advice

J, who lives in Cambodia’s southern province of Takeo, wasn’t sure who to turn to for advice on her unplanned pregnancy. She couldn’t afford to have another child, and knew she wanted an abortion. “I felt afraid to discuss it with my family but I told my sister,” she told BuzzFeed News through an interpreter. “My husband supported my decision because our baby is one year and five months old, so we spend a lot of money already.”

Australian Doctors Can Already Turn Away Women Seeking Contraception Or An Abortion. What Will The Religious Discrimination Bill Do?

Doctors in Australia can already object on religious grounds to providing contraception and abortion. In fact, several doctors have signs in their offices outlining that they will not see patients about contraception, abortion, sterilisation or in-vitro fertilisation. Religious hospitals, too, can turn away patients with these needs. But that hasn’t stopped the government moving forward with its religious discrimination bill.

Kids Have Spent Weeks On End Indoors To Avoid Smoke During Australia's Bushfire Crisis

Freya Bundey, her partner and their six-month-old twins have spent the summer holidays dodging fire and smoke. “Life is challenging with twins and this summer made it really hard,” the 30-year-old told BuzzFeed News. “It was really difficult not being able to leave the house and being cooped up, and that is really hard for small babies that are just starting to explore the world.” Bundey spent the end of December helping her mother pack up her childhood home in Kangaroo Valley in the Shoalhave

Pregnant Women Are Asking For Inducements And Extra Ultrasounds Because Of The Bushfires

Kai Hodgkin is a midwife in Canberra, where the air has become some of the most polluted in the world during Australia’s ongoing catastrophic bushfire season. Staff at the hospital where she works have this week been wearing face masks indoors, to protect themselves against the smoke creeping into the wards and even into birthing suites. “We were giving masks to everyone who has left us and sending these brand new parents and babies out into the smoke,” Hodgkin told BuzzFeed News.

Babies Are Being Born In Smoky Delivery Rooms As Australia Burns

A couple of hours into the new decade, while many people were stumbling home to bed after celebrating New Year's Eve, Dr Steve Robson was driving through a "smoky hell" to a Canberra hospital to deliver a baby. "I had the little spotlight that you use to look at things and it went through the smoke and we all realised that in this birth suite, this baby was born into bushfire smoke," the obstetrician told BuzzFeed News.
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