Women’s Health: Menstruation Facts: Twelve Things You May Not Know About Your Period

Women’s Health: Menstruation Facts: Twelve Things You May Not Know About Your Period

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Women’s News: VAWA Vote: Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Violence Against Women Act

Women’s News: VAWA Vote: Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Violence Against Women Act

Women’s News: VAWA Vote: Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Violence Against Women Act

Female Democrats Hold News Conference On Violence Against Women Legislation

Jennifer Bendery

WASHINGTON — The Senate easily passed its Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill on Tuesday, officially punting the issue to the House, where Republican leaders still haven’t signaled how they plan to proceed.

The bill passed 78 to 22. It already had 62 cosponsors, which ensured its passage, but it picked up additional support from a handful of Republicans who weren’t already sponsoring it.

Senators who voted against the bill included Republicans John Barrasso (Wyo.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Cornyn (Texas), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Orrin Hatch (Utah), James Inhofe (Okla.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Mike Lee (Utah), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Pat Roberts (Kansas), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), John Thune (S.D.) and Tim Scott (S.C.).

Rubio, who put out a statement on his VAWA stance Tuesday, will give the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address later Tuesday evening.

Interestingly, a number of Republicans who voted against the VAWA bill last year ended up voting for it this year. They are GOP Sens. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), Roger Wicker (Miss.) and Thad Cochran (Miss.).

The bill authorizes $659 million over five years for VAWA programs. It also expands VAWA to include new protections for LGBT and Native American victims of domestic violence, to give more attention to sexual assault prevention and to help reduce a backlog in processing rape kits. Created in 1994, VAWA has helped to strengthen programs and services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

Ahead of the vote, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the bill’s sponsor, questioned why anybody would vote against his legislation since it just expands protections to vulnerable groups.

“It is difficult to understand why people would come in here and try to limit which victims could be helped by this legislation,” Leahy said. “If you’re the victim, you don’t want to think that a lot of us who have never faced this kind of problem, sat here in this body and said, ‘Well, we have to differentiate which victims America will protect.'”

Senators voted on a few amendments to the bill. They voted 93 to 5 to include a provision targeting human trafficking, and 100 to 0 on a provision to ensure child victims of sex trafficking are eligible for grant assistance. They rejected amendments by Coburn to consolidate certain Department of Justice programs and to allow grants for sexually transmitted disease tests on sexual assault perpetrators.

VAWA typically gets reauthorized with little fanfare. But Congress failed to do so last year amid House Republican objections to provisions in the Senate bill that expanded protections for LGBT, Native American and undocumented immigrant victims of violence. This year’s Senate VAWA bill includes the LGBT and Native American provisions, but leaves out the piece for undocumented immigrants. Leahy has pledged to attach that piece to immigration reform legislation.

The onus is now on House Republican leaders to advance VAWA. They haven’t given any indication as to what their bill will look like or who will sponsor it, and even some in their own party are pressuring them to get moving. Seventeen House Republicans wrote to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Monday night urging them to “immediately” pass a bipartisan VAWA bill. They didn’t specifically endorse the Senate bill, however.

“Now is the time to seek bipartisan compromise on the reauthorization of these programs,” the letter reads. “VAWA programs save lives, and we must allow states and communities the opportunity to build upon the success of current VAWA programs so that we can help even more people.”

Obama later hailed the vote as a key step toward reducing homicides that stem from domestic violence and improving the criminal justice response to rape and sexual assault. He said House Republican leaders should pass the Senate bill and send it to him.

“This important step shows what we can do when we come together across party lines to take up a just cause,” Obama said in a statement. “It’s now time for the House to follow suit and send this bill to my desk so that I can sign it into law.”

Vice President Joe Biden, an original sponsor of the 1994 law, similarly praised the broad Senate vote and said the House needs to get moving.

“Delay isn’t an option when three women are still killed by their husbands or boyfriends every day. Delay isn’t an option when countless women still live in fear of abuse, and when one in five have been victims of rape,” Biden said in a statement. “This issue should be beyond debate — the House should follow the Senate’s lead and pass the Violence Against Women Act right away.”

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/12/vawa-vote_n_2669720.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Women’s Health: Menstruation Facts: Twelve Things You May Not Know About Your Period


By Christina Huffington

If you want to view VICE’s 2012 photo series “There Will Be Blood,” you have to confirm you are over 18 years old. The series is neither violent — as its title might imply — nor sexualized, so why the NSFW label? Because the photographer, Emma Arvida Bystrom, captured women visibly menstruating while engaging in otherwise ordinary daily tasks. Your period, as HuffPost Women Associate Editor Emma Grayput it, is something that we’re taught “should be covered, hidden and cleaned up.”

That may be why some women don’t seem to know important details about how their bodies work. For instance, a 2012 Australian survey found that only “13 percent of women could correctly answer which days of their menstrual cycle they were fertile.”

Whether your last encounter with the minutia of menstruation was in your middle school sex ed class — my fifth grade teacher helpfully announced to my class of girls that I had already become a woman! — or whether you sometimes feel like you know more than your Ob-Gyn, chances are there are still a couple things you have yet to learn.

Here are 12 things you may not know about your period:

1. You can get pregnant on your period. Yes, it is highly unlikely but it’s not impossible so don’t use menstruating as an excuse not to use protection.

2. You are most fertile during — and around — ovulation. Ovulation —the release of an egg from an ovary — typically happens midway through a woman’s cycle. Ovulation calculators are helpful in tracking your cycle.

3. Irregular periods can mean any number of things. Irregular menstruation — whether in the form of missing a period, spotting between periods or a period lasting more than seven days — can be caused by everything fromextreme weight loss or stress to pregnancy to the use of certain drugs to serious illnesses like uterine cancer. Consult your doctor if you are concerned about an irregular period.

4. Walt Disney made a movie about it. In 1946, Disney released The Story Of Menstruation as an educational aid for sex ed classes. It is rumored that the film was the first to use the word “vagina.” Betcha didn’t expect that from thepretty princess factory!

5. The average period releases less than a cup of blood. Complain about heavy flow all you want, but the fact is that most women lose between a few tablespoons and a cup each month. This is not to say that Tampax ‘super plus’ are not sometimes necessary.

6. Menstruation by any other name is still menstruation. Remember in middle school when you were embarrassed to say you were on your period so you and your friends made up code names? No? Uh, well… Code names through the ages include Crimson TideTOM (time of the month)Elmo riding the cotton pony,Aunt Flothe rag and the, er, crime scene.

7. Views on period sex vary. We know sexual preference is individual — there’s a spectrum on everything from preferred gender to preferred position — so it makes sense that opinion on period sex would be individual too. (This goes for both menand women.)

8. On that note, your period might make you frisker than usual.Progesterone — the hormone believed to potentially lower your libido — is at its lowest during your period so if you’re craving more than a Snickers, chances are you’re not alone.

9. No one knows if period syncing is a real thing. Yes, it’s very well possible that you / your sister / your roommate / your partner share more than just secrets. The science behind the theory continues to be controversial, but as anyone who has ever found themselves reaching for Midol and a pair of sweatpants at the same time as their BFF can attest, it seems pretty legitimate.

10. Menstruation is still considered taboo in some places. While pre-teen girls in America may have to endure teasing from their less-than-understanding male classmates, in places like rural India girls are told not to cook food lest it be polluted, not to touch idols lest they be defiled and not to handle pickles because they will go rotten.

11. Always was the first company to show blood in an advertisement for sanitary napkins — in 2011. They broke the “women bleed blue liquid”trend but the ad still only appeared in print. Guess the taboo factor still stands.

12. The average age a girl in the United States gets her period is 12.Girls are getting their periods younger than ever and it is unknown what’s causing the puberty speedup, with theories ranging from environmental factors to higher fat diets to stress.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/07/menstruation-facts-things-to-know-about-your-period_n_2639523.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

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