In the News: January 2020

Increase in Midwife Care Could Result in Savings

Childbirth is the most common and most costly reason for hospitalization in the U.S. A new study reveals how midwife-led care could generate both cost savings and health improvements. The study, published in “Birth Issues in Perinatal Care” journal, found that while low‐risk pregnant women cared for by midwives have similar birth outcomes to women cared for by physicians, they experience fewer medical procedures. Researchers gathered data nationally to assess the costs and resource use of midwife‐led care as compared to obstetrician‐led care for low‐risk pregnancies. Ultimately, an increase in the percentage of pregnancies with midwife-led care from the current level of 8.9% to 20% over the next 10 years may result in $4 billion in cost savings, 30,000 fewer preterm births, and 120,000 fewer episiotomies.

Source: University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Talk about LGBTQ+ Women’s Health

Studies show that lesbian, trans, and bisexual women experience notable health disparities compared to heterosexual and cisgender peers. Yet there is often less public attention paid to these disparities, and few strategies to respond to them. Please join the publisher of Minnesota Women’s Press, and the team at JustUs Health, for a moderated conversation about the research, and the lived experience of women in LGBTQ+ communities. What would a call to action about LGBTQ+ women’s health in Minnesota look like?


Community Input Shuffles Minneapolis Police Budget

Members of Reclaim the Block and Black Visions Collective stand in front of Mayor Jacob Frey during a budget press conference. They carried balloons representing lip service and chanted, “You care about the cops more than the many, you gave them gold and gave us pennies.”

In early December, more than 50 Minneapolis residents attended a meeting of the city council and demanded that the mayor’s proposed city budget be adjusted with major amendments. Rather than adding millions to the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) budget, testifiers urged the city to reallocate those funds towards affordable housing, youth homelessness services, solutions to the opioid crisis, a 911 response team trained for issues around mental health, violence prevention, and protections for workers.

“If adding more police officers worked, we would not need to keep increasing funding for them,” said Seneca Krueger, a trauma therapist with Southside Harm Reduction. “Let’s start funding organizations that are working from the ground up. The communities we serve have been criminalized enough, as a result of being unhoused and having issues with addictions.”

Testifiers also pointed to MPD’s failure to process 1,700 untested rape kits, build trust within neighborhoods, and disproportionally target Black people with low-level marijuana charges.

On December 11, the council approved a compromise, expanding the city’s number of cadets in training from 76 to 114 (instead of hiring the new officers) while increasing the city’s investment in alternative public safety methods by more than $540,000.

City council member Lisa Bender said at the final vote: “We are investing too much money in incarceration-based policing and not enough money in community-based safety. I think the police department needs a complete overhaul of its budget.”

Source: MinnPost; Reclaim the Block

Gender Justice Sues Two Minnesota Pharmacies

Andrea Anderson

In December, Gender Justice filed a lawsuit on behalf of Andrea Anderson, who was denied service by two rural Minnesota pharmacies when she sought to fill a prescription for emergency contraception. Gender Justice maintains that Anderson experienced illegal discrimination based on gender, and that denying her service based on pregnancy- related health care needs violates the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

“Like anywhere, there are challenges to living in a rural area,” Anderson said. “But I never expected that they would include the personal beliefs of our local pharmacists, or that they would hold — and wield — such enormous decision-making power over my life.”

Anderson is a mother of five. After discovering a broken condom, she procured a prescription for the emergency contraceptive from her doctor before calling her nearest pharmacy. A pharmacist refused to fill the prescription on religious grounds.

A nearby CVS pharmacist said they do not carry the medication, and that Walgreens was also out of stock — which was not true. Anderson drove 100 miles to the nearest Walgreens, in blizzard conditions.

“Pharmacists have a duty to provide patients with their prescription medications,” Gender Justice stated in a press release. “Whether it’s a hospital, a clinic, or a pharmacy, no Minnesotan seeking medical care should be left out in the cold due to the personal beliefs of their health care providers.”

Source: Gender Justice

The Death of Feminist Writing?

The 2000s were fertile years for online feminist publications. Sites like The Hairpin, The Toast, and Jezebel published articles with headlines  ranging from “Abortion access improves children’s lives” to “Should I eat more meat? Peanut butter isn’t going to cut it.” For several reasons, many of these blogs are now gone, the latest being Feministing, which started in 2004.

“Feminist media has been especially hard hit by the financial turbulence in the news industry,” writes New York Times writer Emma Goldberg. At its peak, Feministing had 1.2 million unique monthly visitors.

Source: The New York Times