Reaction Blog: The Book of Choices

NARAL Pro-Choice New York has various set of projects that they are currently working on and TORCH has been of the more active projects that have continued to make a great impact. NARAL continues to produce projects and activities surrounding reproductive health rights. The Book of Choices is an initiative that provides accurate information for teens that are facing unplanned pregnancies. The book provides information on:

  • Where to get an abortion
  • what you need to know before getting an abortion
  • resources for women choosing to continue their pregnancy.
  • provides information on preventing pregnancy, including different contraceptive methods.

Source: NARAL

This book serves as a resource and an outlet to accessing correct information that easy to read and understand. Teens can access this book online or they can make their way up to 33rd street and park ave and ask for an actual book. All the information is updated frequently and is reviewed to assure that the information is accurate. The Book of Choices is a great resource and many community-based organizations use this as means of referring their patients or teens to needed services that are not offered through their own programs. I believe this is a great tool that can be empowering, informative, and inspiring.


M.I.A & The New Scoop

Sorry everyone for the delay- I’ve been M.I.A for the past few weeks because I honestly do not want anything to do with school for awhile.

I’ve started my internship at The National Institute for Reproductive Health and it’s been an extremely benefical time. I am a apart of the Adolescent Health Care Commujnication Program that seeks to use young people in promoting open communication between teens and their health care providers. For the first weeks, I have taken time time to understand the program delvierables and components and have actively been working on a local collaborative piece for the Front-Line Training for medical service providers. This component is just one of the many pieces to the AHCCP initiative at the NIRH.

The ACHHP initiative was designed to help medical providers communicate more effectively with their teens patients thus reducing barriers and increase patient-doctor relationship. This has shown to increase the like hood that teens will make informed decisions about their health. Primarily, this organization is to increase overall awareness and equality among teens and women that affect their sexual and reproductive health. But their work is also surrounding political issues regarding reproductive health and access to quality care. This organization is instrumental in passing certain laws that create opportunities for women and teens to access care and information.

Below is a video of the one the initiatives this organization had implemented called Back Up Your Birth Control from the Pro-Choice America.

Here is a very informative post by a fellow classmate of mine who’s also highlighting the opportunities offered to women under the new Affordable Care Act.

desi health & wellness

Preventative care enables doctors to:

  • identify health problems early
  • manage health problems more effectively
  • prevent the progression of health problems

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates private insurers to cover preventive care and services sans patient cost-sharing.

Under the ACA, insurers are required [by federal regulations] to cover a range of women’s preventive services including:

  • annual well-woman visits
  • testing for STIs and HIV
  • breast feeding support
  • counseling for domestic violence

Unfortunately, these preventative services are not nearly as comprehensive as they should be. This is because:

  • Many services are not offered frequently
  • A number of services are not included

The following chart provides further explanation.

Preventive Service


Well-woman visits Annual

Problem: Several visits are needed to obtain all necessary preventive services, depending on health status, health needs, risk factors

Screening for gestational diabetes Women between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation and at the first prenatal visit for…

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Obama Declares National Women’s Health Week 2012

This week (May 14th- May19th) has been declared by President Obama as National Women’s Health Week 2012. President Obama has declared this in celebration of women’s health by promoting positive health care among the female american population. Women’s health week is … Continue reading

Bronx Teens Connection Launches New Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

New research has found that teen pregnancy is at its lowest in more than 10 years. However, teen pregnancy still continues to be a public health issue in that the United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy in comparison to other industrialized countries. Here in the South Bronx, there have been many local collaboratives that have been established to help address the issue of teen pregnancy in the community. Most recently a strategically combined initiative of various community-based organizations, “The Bronx Teen Connection” has been established a coalition to collectively address the issue of teen pregnancy on a larger, community-wide intervention.

Pregnancy rates for 15-to19-year-olds in the South Bronx decreased from 153.4 per 1,000 females in 2002 to 118.3 per 1,000 females in 2009, a decline of 23%, more than the overall city decline of 11% (Teen Pregnancy in New York City: 2000-2009. New York, NY: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2011).
Source: The New York City Department of Health

The Bronx Teen Connection works primarily in the communities of the South Bronx; Hunts Point, Morrisonia, Longwood, and the South Bronx. Agencies that participate in this collective initiative include, Planned Parenthood, Children’s Aids Society, Urban Health Plan, Inc. & School-Based Health Centers, and Community Health Care Network among other grantees.

This program is also funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the federal Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH) Office of Adolescent Health, as part of the President’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (NYCDOH,  2012). 

This month the coalition launched a new ad campaign to prevent teen pregnancy as part of their 5-year grant deliverables. The new ads encourage teens in the South Bronx to use both condoms and contraception together to help reduce the risk of unplanned pregnancies and HIV/AIDS transmission. From theses ads teens can see that using both these methods can provide optimal sexual health in that the chances of an unplanned pregnancy occurring is becomes greatly slim when both forms are used.

New Ad Campaign by the New York City Department of Health in conjunction with the Bronx Teen Connection at a bus stop on Southern Blvd.

An article was also releases in the Metro newspaper on the new ad campaigns highlighting the intentions of these ads and providing a framework for the new initiative and what the collaborative aims at providing. Metro writes, “The campaign is part of the city’s efforts to ensure that all teens have the information, skills and resources to make healthy decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.”

Even though these ads provide teen-friendly messages about safe sex practices, some might still be in objection to this new initiative. Many say that these ads promote sexual promiscuity and actually increase the onset of sexual activity. According to a blog post by Michael Benjamin, these ads are “further sexualizing our youth and encouraging sexual promiscuity among Hispanic and Blacks.” Not only are these ads promoting sexual activity, he also claims that these ads are “misinforming teens” by saying that “…condoms and birth control together  will prevent HIV, other STDs and pregnancy. Birth control does not prevent HIV/STD transmission.”

Once again, as he also states in his blog, we have opposition from people who do not know what is to be a teen living in the South Bronx. Sorry to burst your bubble of critiscm here Mr. Benjamin, but teens are having sex whether we promote it or not. The reality is, teenagers are experimental creatures and sex cannot be put into the same categories as drug or alcohol addiction because it is apart of life. Sex is an intimate act of expression and what should be most concerning is that teens are educated, aware, full of knowledge, and can make healthy decisions on their own.

It is obvious, even to a teen, that birth control does not in fact prevent the transmission of STD/HIV. However, this ad does not blatantly say that birth control prevents transmission. Birth control is used as a back-up method when condoms fail to provide pregnancy prevention.

As an educator, I work with teens 40hours a week in the South Bronx. I know what it is to live an unplanned teen pregnancy, abortion, and the confusion of choosing the right birth control. I would have benefitted from information like this if they had existed years ago. These teens need more education, support, youth development, and creativity to stir positive development in their lives. They do not need conservative creeps such as yourself constructing barriers of uninformed and misguided politics.

I support this movement and those similar to this that are yet to come…


March is Women’s History Month- The History of Planned Parenthood and Their Work in Empowering Women

This Month is Woman’s History Month and to honor this glorious occasion I want to highlight the  courageous and impeccable work that Planned Parenthood does for millions of men and women all over this world. It is truly mind-blowing to … Continue reading

At it Again!- Congress Upheaval Towards Controlling Reproductive Health Rights (Oklahoma)

Hello Girls!

Hope you all had a great week and for those of you who were able to look at the current events in the NY Times, the act of hate on woman’s reproductive health rights continues to sprawl.

Thanks to a classmate of mine who was so kind enough to send me a blog on iReport for CNN, I was able to see the reaction of many women to the new person-hood anti-abortion legislation that was recently passed by the Oklahoma Senate.

What does the new legislation mean for Oklahoma women? It means three basic words; restriction, limitations, and violation. Under this new legislation women are restricted and limited in their access to certain reproductive health services such as birth control options, abortions, and emergency contraception. This law also threatens to affect access to other critical women health services.

After reading a blog post from Pamela Haag from HuffPost, Birth Control Isn’t Really About “Women’s Health.” It’s About…, I was able to formulate two very intrinsic questions; 1. What exactly is the definition of choice? and 2. What exactly is society’s definition of ‘abortion culture’?

Please take the time out to share your thoughts on this issue as well comment on the questions I have posted.

Before I go I wanted to share some insightful words from a good friend of mine who is a health educator (No name provided for confidential reasons) at a Bronx High School and she said “Really? An egg is a person? Do you know that people [abortion doctors] die for that shit? Really a fu*@#$! blob of cells? That is not a person, that thing cannot be able to support its self outside the woman’s body. When that ‘thing’ is able to survive and live on it owns, then it’s considered a person!” -my she friend!

Good Night and remember you don’t have to be a feminist to speak against those who violate your rights!

Be Free to Choose Birth Control- Obama’s New Mandate Shift.

Hello Girlies! Hope you all had an amazing week and are looking forward to a very relaxing, yet proactive weekend. Now, remember all the commotion are Obama’s new birth control law requiring religious institutions who have insurance to offer birth … Continue reading