If Period Discussions In Health Class Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will ... What The HELL FLORIDA?

uterus pop art

Florida Republican Admits His Bill Would Bar Young Girls From Discussing Their Periods In School

One day in fifth grade, the school nurse sent all the boys to go play baseball outside and gathered the girls to watch several instructive but weirdly outdated videos about menstruation, including this one, starring Andrea McArdle and the cast of Annie, many, many years after the show closed on Broadway.


And then my friend Angela and I went around singing "Your period will come, tomorrow! When you're wearing white shorts and it's gym day! You'll get cramps!" for the rest of the year. Naturally.

Florida state Rep. Stan McClain (R) has a bill, however, that would make all of that illegal. HB 1069, which he introduced on Wednesday, would bar all instruction and discussion of sexual health related issues before sixth grade.

“Does this bill prohibit conversations about menstrual cycles ― because we know that typically the ages is between 10 and 15 ― so if little girls experience their menstrual cycle in fifth grade or fourth grade, will that prohibit conversations from them since they are in the grade lower than sixth grade?” Rep. Ashley Viola Gantt (D) asked McClain during the hearing.

"It would," he said.

Rep. Gantt later asked McClain if teachers would be penalized if girls, say, came to them with period-related issues. He says it would but that he was "amenable" to considering amending the bill so that teachers wouldn't lose their jobs if a kid came up to them and asked for a menstrual pad or whatever. How very gracious of him.

The bill also petulantly insists that children must be taught "that sex is determined by biology and reproductive function at birth: that biological males impregnate biological females by fertilizing the female egg with male sperm; that the female then gestates the offspring; and that these reproductive roles are binary, stable, and unchangeable." Because that's totally going to stop trans people from existing, right? That's a thing that it is possible to do, right along with barring girls from getting their periods until the sixth grade.

Of course, that's not the purpose of this shit. The purpose of this is to inspire other children to be shitty to trans children, so Rep. McClain doesn't have to worry about a scary future world where people don't share his ridiculous ideas about human sexuality.

It's actually pretty important for kids to get age-appropriate instruction in sexual health, at the very least so that if godforbid they are being sexually abused they understand that it's wrong and have the language to describe what is happening to them. Though this might also bar them from discussing that with teachers right along with questions about menstruation.

North Dakota Supreme Court Says North Dakota Can't Ban Abortion (For Now, Anyway)

The North Dakota supreme court this week upheld a lower court's decision to bar the state's abortion ban from going into effect. While the court was technically only ruling on whether or not the judge in that case could block the law from going into effect before the case was decided, the majority opinion included an analysis of the state constitution suggesting that it at least protects the right to abortion in cases where the mother's health or safety may be at risk.

Via New York Times:

In a majority opinion, the ruling said that judge was within his rights but added that the state Constitution protects “the right to enjoy and defend life and a right to pursue and obtain safety,” which includes the right of a pregnant woman to “obtain an abortion to preserve her life or her health.” [...]

The court also said the state legislature had the authority to regulate abortion but that the abortion rights advocates in the case seeking to overturn the ban “demonstrated likely success on the merits that there is a fundamental right to an abortion in the limited instances of life-saving and health-preserving circumstances, and the statute is not narrowly tailored to satisfy strict scrutiny.”

So it's not great, but it's something?

Mississippi Gov. Finally Gets Around To Signing Medicaid Expansion Covering Postpartum Care For 12 Months

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed legislation this week that would finally extend the amount of postpartum care provided by Medicaid from two months to 12 months, after practically every other state had extended it, while suggesting that signing it was part of his big "pro-life" agenda. Reeves had stalled on signing it for months, because of how pro-life he is, demanding to see data that giving mothers more health care after pregnancy would improve their health outcomes.

He also wanted to be very clear that he would absolutely not be expanding Medicaid in any other ways, probably also because of how pro-life he is.

“I’ve been against Medicaid expansion since it was first proposed by Barack Obama. I still am. And, as what many would call the leading advocate fighting against Obamacare expansion, I have plenty of scars to show for it,” Reeves said in a statement. Surely, the people of Mississippi who need affordable healthcare are very grateful to him for making sure they can't get it and are more than willing to pay for those scars to be taken care of by funding his healthcare with their taxes.

Mississippi still has the highest infant mortality rate in the nation.

'Pro-Life' Mobile Phone Company Employee Allegedly Fired For Not Aborting Her Boss's Baby

A 34-year-old woman says she was fired from Patriot Mobile, the mobile phone company/PAC frequently shilled for by rightwing pundits who tell fans that they should have a mobile phone company that "shares their values," after she got pregnant with her married boss's baby and refused to get an abortion.

Kara Cunningham says her boss at the company Everett Trost "groomed" her and eventually persuaded her to have an affair with him — and that when she got pregnant with his child he cried and cried and begged her to have an abortion. He said he'd pay for it but that she would have to go alone, probably on account of the fact that he is a married executive at a "pro-life family values" cell phone company. When she refused, she says, he had her fired and barred anyone from the company from speaking to her.

Cunningham's story is backed up by another former employee, Rodney Banks, a former customer service manager who was fired for speaking out against racism at the company and says she wasn't the first girl Trost had gone after.

Via Fort Worth Weekly:

About a young Black woman Trost allegedly groomed before Cunningham, Banks claims Trost “would leave money under [her] keyboard for nude pictures” of the young woman who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

Asked if she knew this young woman, Cunningham said, “I heard people talking about it, especially the pics, but every time I asked [Trost] about her, he would just get mad and deny it, all angry because the girl was Black and everyone knows how racist he is.”

What a peach.

Banks also said he was "floored" by the culture of white supremacy at the company, though the name "Patriot Mobile" should have been a big hint there.

Cunningham says the affair became sexual in September of 2022 — well after Texas had outlawed abortion — and that she was pregnant and fired for refusing to have an abortion by Thanksgiving. Because "pro-life family values." She now has no income and no health insurance. Because "pro-life family values."

The company, which calls itself the only "Christian, conservative" mobile phone company, was a proud sponsor of CPAC this year, specifically hosting Lauren Boebert and Jack Posobiec.

To be fair, this is the party of Donald Trump, so Patriot Mobile is not actually lying when it says it shares the values of its consumer base.

Do your Amazon shopping through this link, because reasons.

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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