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Kenya’s Labor Market Wasn’t Made for a Pandemic

NAIROBI—For the past week, every morning, Akonya Shimeseru wakes up in her single-room home that she shares with her two children in Ongata Rongai, a town on the outskirts of Nairobi. She makes tea, with…

“I Didn’t Feel Like It Was Unfair of the Hospital. I Thought It Was Unfair of the Universe.”

On Wednesday, March 18, 28-year-old Latoyha Young and her mother, Thomasina Hayten, rushed to Sutter Health Hospital in Sacramento, believing that Young was in labor. Hospital staff sent her home — she wasn’t far enough…

For Abused Women, a Pandemic Lockdown Holds Dangers of Its Own

Early last week, as the novel coronavirus exploded from state to state, a woman called the National Domestic Violence Hotline in a crisis: Her partner had tried to strangle her and she needed medical help,…

When You’re Pregnant During a Pandemic

On February 27, I summited Mount Kilimanjaro and immediately had a desperate urge to pee. I should have known then, squatting in the snow next to the sign marking the summit, that I was pregnant.…

“I’m Homeless—How Can I Self-Quarantine?”

Across from two of the tall, unnervingly skinny palm trees Los Angeles is known for, there is a light blue bungalow in a row of neat, single-story structures. After a historically dry winter, the city…

‘You Are Beautiful’: the Kenyan Beauty Parlour Serving Female Heroin Users

Naima Said stands back and studies her handiwork. “Not quite,” the self-taught beauty therapist mumbles, her forehead furrowed in frustration. Then she delicately dabs her client’s eyelid with a squishy makeup sponge. She’s not finished…

Why the Coronavirus Outbreak Could Hit Women Hardest

At 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, I got a text message saying my children’s school in D.C. would close the next day for a deep cleaning. I’m a single mom and am lucky to have caregiving…

Meet Beauty Therapist Saving Female Heroin Addicts

Naima Said stands back and studies her handiwork. “Not quite,” the 31-year-old self-taught beauty therapist mumbles, her forehead furrowed in frustration. She delicately dabs her client’s eyelid with a squishy make-up sponge, eyebrow pencil at…

My Cousin’s Experience with Childhood Trauma

Trauma is not only created by singular incidents. It can also be born out of a person’s repeated or continuous exposure to stress. A child in poverty faces a higher likelihood of developing this kind…

The World’s Mothers Are Watching Ever More Babies Die of Starvation

When 14-year-old Wounaba first found out that she was pregnant, she was excited—until the fear kicked in. For as long as she could remember, her family of 12 had struggled to find enough food. She…

Worried About Abortion Laws? Catholic Hospital Mergers Also Seen as Threat to Women’s Health Care

In 1995, Lois Uttley was working as a reproductive rights advocate in New York when the merger of two hospitals in Troy, a city near Albany, caught her off-guard. One was secular, the other, Catholic.…

Wisconsin’s Catholic Hospitals Limit Reproductive Procedures

MILWAUKEE — When Ascension’s St. Joseph Hospital in Milwaukee announced it would cut back services in 2018, residents of the surrounding Sherman Park area protested. The predominantly black, low-income neighborhood already faced its share of…

When Catholic Hospitals Merge, Reproductive Services Can Change

The shift toward managed care in the mid-to-late 1990s and passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 pressured health systems to contain costs, fueling mergers between Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals. In some cases, changes…

Catholic Hospitals Often Only Choice For Women of Color in Milwaukee

Expectant mothers in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, have a wealth of hospitals to choose from, unlike some of their counterparts in rural areas. For the county’s black and Hispanic women, however, the choice is often a…

Catholics Run One-Third of Wisconsin Hospitals, Putting Many Reproductive Procedures Off-Limits

When Ascension’s St. Joseph Hospital in Milwaukee announced it would cut back services in 2018, residents of the surrounding Sherman Park area balked. The predominantly black, low-income neighborhood already faced its share of challenges. Nearly…

One-Fifth of Women Don’t Know if Abortion Is Illegal in Kenya, New Study Shows

A new study by Marie Stopes Kenya showed that 20.7 per cent of women seeking abortion services in Nairobi “do not know” whether the process is illegal. Abortions, the Constitution states, are illegal in Kenya…

‘Dumped Babies Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg’: The Deadly Consequences of Curbing Reproductive Rights

It’s a hot mid-August morning, and Lydia Wambui’s bright green overalls are soaked. She’s standing knee-deep in Nairobi River, using a metal rod to catch rubbish lazily flowing down its murky waters. “Sewage, bottle-tops, needles…

How to Make Abortion Great Again

On a rainy day in May, in the Polish coastal city of Gdańsk, in a high-ceilinged room on the second floor of an unremarkable building, 16 women and five men sat in mismatched office chairs…
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