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women

What Drives Abortion: The Law Or Income?

Sep 28, 2014

About 50,000 women worldwide die because of unsafe abortions. Five million more are admitted to hospitals with complications after the procedure.

Activists and researchers on both sides of the abortion debate agree that these "back alley" operations are dangerous for women. It's figuring out the best way to stop them that has been contentious.

Spain's streets have been filled with dueling demonstrations in recent months: Women's groups arguing for abortion rights. Church groups lobbying for more restrictions on the procedure.

The debate was invigorated by ruling conservatives' plan to create one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe — a near-total ban, except in cases of rape or danger to the mother's health.

Moving On: Project Helps War Widows Recover

Sep 26, 2014

In the kitchen of a rental house near a beach in San Diego, a group of moms is preparing dinner.

The 13 women from all around the country have one thing in common: They lost their husbands in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

They are part of the American Widow Project, a support group for women whose husbands were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Defense Department estimates there are more than 3,200 military widows and widowers from those wars.

The women gather once a month in small groups for bonding and adventure. On this weekend, they're at the beach.

Courtesy of Che-Wei Wang

Jeannie Yandel talks to Beth Kolko, a professor at the University of Washington and co-founder of Shift Labs, about MIT's "Make The Breast Pump Not Suck" hack-a-thon.

For decades, OB-GYNs have offered prenatal tests to expectant moms to uncover potential issues, including Down syndrome, before they give birth. However, some tests, such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, carry health risks, including miscarriage. For some women, the risks can be greater than the potential benefits from information they would gain.

In the central market in San Salvador, you can buy just about anything you want: tomatoes by the wheelbarrow full. Fresh goat's milk straight from the goat. Underwear. Plumbing supplies. Fruit. Hollywood's latest blockbusters burned straight onto a DVD.

And in the back of the market, in a small stall lined with jars of dried herbs, roots and mushrooms, you can buy an abortion.

Editor's note: This story was originally published on September 22, 2014, but is newly relevant after Donald Trump's remark yesterday that if abortion is made illegal, women who have the procedure should be punished. He subsequently retracted the comment. But the idea of punishing women who've had an illegal abortion isn't so far-fetched in some parts of the world.

KUOW Photo/Nick Danielson

The stories from the labor and delivery ward at UW Medical Center in Seattle are often told breathlessly.

A nurse tells of a pregnant woman who arrived at the hospital brain dead after being airlifted from Eastern Washington. She was kept alive as nurses pumped her breasts to feed her baby, who had been delivered by cesarean section.

Sarah Meyer (right), a midwife, was recently hired by Whidbey Island General Hospital, as part of a plan to reduce the hospital's C-section rate.
Gary Taylor/Whidbey Island General Hospital

In Coupeville, Washington, Sarah Meyer is pressing a fetal Doppler on Christine Meyer’s belly to check the baby’s heart rate.

Meyer, no relation to Christine, then checks her ankles for swelling. Christine is 25, and this is her first baby. She says she chose Whidbey General because the hospital offers what she was looking for – a midwife.

Emily Cameron, left, her husband and their five children. Her first-born was delivered by C-section at 37 weeks, which she believes was unnecessary.
Courtesy Emily Cameron

Public health officials across the U.S. say the number of cesarean sections being performed has gotten way out of hand. It's a life-saving surgery for complicated births, but today nearly a third of pregnancies end up as a C-section.

Family photo

It’s 7 p.m. on a Thursday at Valley Hospital and Medical Center in Spokane, and Dr. Nathan Meltzer has already had a very long day.

He has one mother in labor. She’s been there for more than 12 hours.

From the aerospace sector to Silicon Valley, engineering has a retention problem: Close to 40 percent of women with engineering degrees either leave the profession or never enter the field.

Conventional wisdom says that women in engineering face obstacles such as the glass ceiling, a lack of self-confidence and a lack of mentors. But psychologists who delved deeper into the issue with a new study found that the biggest pushbacks female engineers receive come from the environments they work in.

Dr. Willie Parker is one of two doctors who performs abortions at the only women’s health clinic in Mississippi where abortions are performed.

Parker is a devout Christian who feels he is doing the right thing to help women in need. He’s the subject of a profile in Esquire magazine called “The Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker.”

Women today breathe a little easier — thanks to a World War I metal shortage.

Before then, women squeezed themselves into corsets that molded their figures to fit the Victorian ideal: a voluptuous bosom atop a teensy waist. But since corset frames were mostly made of metal, which was needed for ammunition and other military supplies, the U.S. War Industries Board asked American women in 1917 to stop buying them. Around the same time, the modern-day bra emerged, freeing up wartime steel and women alike.

When Nimco Ali was 7, she thought her family was going on vacation. They flew from their hometown in Manchester, England, to Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

Ali doesn't remember the exact location. But she clearly remembers what happened there.

The young girl found herself in a dingy room, with a woman dressed in all black, standing over her. She didn't know what was going on at the time. But she fell asleep. And when Ali woke up, she was confused.

The woman had mutilated her genitals.

It's no secret that there aren't a lot of women in Silicon Valley and the tech industry in general. There is one exception — marketing and public relations. Though these women aren't the people writing the code or building the chip, their role in the success of many tech companies is often crucial and overlooked.

The talk on the streets of Brazil is the host country's resounding victory over Croatia on the World Cup pitch. But online, debate is raging over whether or not chants directed against Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff at the stadium where she was attending yesterday's match were sexist.

After the opening ceremony, fans briefly started jeering "Hey, Dilma, go f*** yourself in the a**! Hey, FIFA, go f*** yourself in the a**!"

Sometimes there just isn't enough time to get it all done. Washington Post journalist Brigid Schulte has certainly felt that way. "I was working all the time and yet never very good at what I was doing," she tells NPR's David Greene. " ... I felt all this pressure that I was a working mom and so I was always so guilty, and I didn't want to ruin their childhood. So I was up at 2 in the morning to bake cupcakes for the Valentine's party."

The HPV vaccine was created to protect women against the virus that causes cervical cancer. But it also helps prevent genital warts, a common sexually transmitted disease caused by the same virus, a study finds.

This interview was originally broadcast on Sept. 12, 2013.

Seattle Reign FC defender Stephanie Cox and her daughter Kaylee are greeted by Washington Spirit opponent (but US National teammate) Ali Krieger at a league game in July.
Courtesy of mikerussellfoto.com/Mike Russell

When US Soccer announced last year where national team members would play in the inaugural season of the National Women’s Soccer League, Seattle Reign FC scored offensive powerhouse Amy Rodriguez.

But Rodriguez, 26, would never play a single game for Seattle.

There's a widely held belief that women experience moodiness and fuzzy thinking because of the drop in estrogen during menopause. And women have looked to hormone replacement therapy for relief.

But researchers increasingly think there's not much of a link between declining levels of estrogen during menopause and cognition.

The Women In Kennedy's White House

Nov 20, 2013

This month in Washington, D.C., a group of Kennedy-era staffers met for a reunion, including some women who worked for Kennedy the White House.

While Kennedy’s womanizing is well documented, not much is known about his policies on women’s issues or the women who worked for him.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Deborah Becker of WBUR has the story of some of these trailblazers.

Women Who Broke The Rules In Nepal

Oct 8, 2013

Photojournalist Arantxa Cedillo has worked all over Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. But in 2011 she decided to spend a few years in Nepal. She says it interested her because it's a country in constant political turmoil, as well as "one of the most beautiful corners of the world."

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