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This is the Tumblr for Cand86, a.k.a. Gwen, just a crazy girl who spends far too much time online.

This is the tumblr for my as-of-lately rarely updated blog, Pop Shot, a simpler place for me to drop off all the random thoughts in my brain and a dumping ground for every one of the amazing things I happen to find whilst meandering on the Internet- pictures, videos, songs, quotes, and websites that would otherwise languish in folders or on my browser's Favorites bar until I felt I could organize and post them "properly". Enjoy the unorganized mess!

Ask Me Anything


6 September 14


Let’s Talk Contraception: The One-Size Diaphragm, a New Contraceptive


In June of 2013, a new barrier contraceptive, the SILCS diaphragm, entered the market in Europe, and in May of this year, it became available in Canada. The new diaphragm is called the Caya contoured diaphragm, and it’s being marketed as “not your mother’s diaphragm.” This is exciting because Caya is a user-friendly, one-size diaphragm that can fit most users without the need of a pelvic exam. It is being sold through pharmacies and health care providers.

The SILCS diaphragm was developed with the financial help of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), by CONRAD and PATH, nonprofit leaders in global contraceptive research. USAID was created in 1961 by President Kennedy, and provides financial support to improving the lives of people in developing countries, including support to find safe, effective, and acceptable contraceptives in low-resource areas. CONRAD began in 1986 as a division of the obstetrics and gynecology department of East Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, and collaborates on research to improve reproductive health around the world. PATH is a Seattle-based international nonprofit that works globally to develop and deliver health solutions that are affordable and effective, including vaccines, drugs, and medical devices.

Caya works as well as traditional diaphragms, but has been redesigned to make it easier to insert and remove. During its development, many women, their partners, and health-care providers on four continents had input on its design. Continue reading

Reblogged: fuckyeahsexeducation

23 January 14
7 June 13


All those people reblogging the post about CPC’s who think it’s more important that “not all of them are like that” than the fact that people are being lied to, manipulated, and terrorized in the name of the agenda they support…


Seriously.  If my bestie’s to be believed (and why wouldn’t she?), the CPC she volunteered at (as part of a Christian program) was on the up-and-up and while clearly ideological (Obama’s the antichrist!), didn’t disseminate lies or misinformation.

And that’s good … but it doesn’t excuse the fact that the vast majority do.  And if you’re placing the reputation of a few good crisis pregnancy centers over the well-being and needs of pregnant (or even just might-be-pregnant) people who go to the remainder, then you need to sort out your priorities.

Reblogged: bebinn

8 October 12


Saw this on my dashboard and it got me thinking.  Jon has used this argument before in discussions with his conservative interviewees, and I did and do applaud him for it- call out the blatant hypocrisy in enshrining the military as the most perfect institution whilst simultaneously claiming that the government is incompetent and inept in everything it does.  Love it.

But then I also think to how ineptly things have been going lately for our veterans and I wonder if it’s the right line of attack to be taking … it’s essentially ceding the ground and accepting the premise that we do take good care of our vets and are successful in that effort, when we seem to be slipping- all in order to make a rhetorical point.  And then we can’t get a veteran’s jobs bill passed and you kind of have to wonder if it’s really all that surprising.

The only thing keeping the other side from eviscerating the “we should have government healthcare because you agree the government can do it quite well” is their reluctance to criticize the military.  If they got over that, this counter-argument would lose a lot of its weight.

Just random thoughts.

5 September 12

Reblogged: tobitastic

17 June 12

This morning, I went to a pro-life training seminar.

Read More

20 February 12


Let’s reject “rare.” If abortions are legal & accessible, number of abortions performed should = exactly the number of abortions necessary.

In response (I imagine) to another garbage article by the garbage king himself, Ross Douthat. Seriously, only click on this link if you want to be induced with huge amounts of rage.

I’ve always thought we should change our slogan to “Unintended pregnancy should be rare, and abortion should be safe, legal, and accessible.”  If both halves of the statement are true and achieved, the end result is that abortion *will* be rare- without ever having to stigmatize it by using the “abortion should be rare!” argument, nor without restricting abortion rights.



Let’s reject “rare.” If abortions are legal & accessible, number of abortions performed should = exactly the number of abortions necessary.

In response (I imagine) to another garbage article by the garbage king himself, Ross Douthat. Seriously, only click on this link if you want to be induced with huge amounts of rage.

I’ve always thought we should change our slogan to “Unintended pregnancy should be rare, and abortion should be safe, legal, and accessible.”  If both halves of the statement are true and achieved, the end result is that abortion *will* be rare- without ever having to stigmatize it by using the “abortion should be rare!” argument, nor without restricting abortion rights.

Reblogged: keepyourbsoutofmyuterus

1 February 12
… the abortion doula decided to use this quote to describe why women have abortions: “A woman wants an abortion as an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg.” Unbeknownst to the doula, this quote is from the anti-choice group Feminists for Life, and is meant to describe a desperation that is destructive, a desperation that leaves a woman alive but (literally) hurt by the experience. Did the doula know the context of this quote? No, and I’m sure she thought she was somehow making women who have abortions sympathetic to the audience. Regardless of the quote’s origins, do we really want to discuss abortion in the context of self-mutilation? To do so is misleading, manipulative, and harmful.

- Steph, "When the pro-choice movement perpetuates abortion stigma"

Wow.  First off, I wasn’t aware of the original source of the quote- I’m sure I’ve repeated it several times myself, thinking it was a pro-choice sentiment.  I’m also rather amazed at not realizing what it implies … although I think that it is a very apt comparison in some ways (that some women are as desperate as animals with their legs caught in a trap, and they will figuratively “gnaw it off” through attempts to abort by themselves that result in injury), the self-mutilation analogy doesn’t fly in the context of safe, legal abortion here in the U.S. (or if it does, the ending is a kind person setting the animal free, a.k.a. an abortion provider helping a woman safely terminate her pregnancy).

Veeerrrry interesting stuff.

28 January 12

Abortion Questions

I answered this question a ways back and someone had posted their own “answer” full of questions; as my answer was too long to edit and reply to each point, I thought I’d put them down here:

1. Why is it that the very people who say the governments should stay out of abortion are the same ones who want the government to pay for them?

I believe government should not be able to restrict one’s access to abortion, and by purposefully not funding abortion (while funding other reproductive healthcare procedures), I believe the government is doing just that- restricting access to abortion.

2. Abortion advocates say they are in the business to help women. Other than offering to kill their children for them, what are they doing?

Abortion does the exact same thing that contraception does- it helps women to have children only if they want to, and let’s them decide when, how many, and how far apart they are- which in turn helps them achieve goals that might otherwise be thwarted or postponed, helps them stay out of or helps them from slipping further into poverty, and preserves their maternal health.  Safe, legal abortion saves women’s lives, too, considering how many women die and suffer from unsafe, illegal abortion.

3. Pro-abortionists say that the unborn child is part of the mother’s body. If that is so, why does the child possess a completely different genetic code and often a different blood type? How do you explain the fact that it has its own immune system? Why is it male half the time?

I don’t believe that a fetus is part of the mother’s body- you can read my answer about that here (it’s the first one on the list, in fact!).

4. Pro-abortionists say that outlawing abortion would restrict a woman’s right to privacy. But is that right absolute? Does somebody’s right to privacy exceed another’s right to live?

Are you asking my personal opinion, or that of the courts?  I personally do not believe in fetal personhood or a fetal right to life, ergo for me there is no competing set of rights when it comes to abortion.  The courts stated in Roe v. Wade that the state could have a vested interest in protecting fetal right to life in the third trimester (post-viability), but that had to balanced with the right to respect a woman’s privacy prior to that point.

5. If what they say is true and the issue isn’t really abortion but a woman’s right to control her own body, why doesn’t your agenda include drugs and prostitution? Aren’t laws against those most restrictive to a woman’s right to choose what she will and will not do with her own body as laws against abortion are?

I am pro-decriminalization of sex work and I believe in decriminalization/legalization of marijuana and other drugs that have been shown to not have a deleterious effect on a community.  That’s me, personally.  But I also want to point out that those who are pro-choice and who argue against the legality of sex work or drugs are not necessarily hypocrites; it depends on what arguments they use.  If you’re arguing on bodily autonomy, it can be hypocritical, although it depends on the topic of how much an action involves your own body and that of those outside your body- think, for instance, about how very dangerous drugs may cause its users to do more harm to others than they might otherwise.  In that sense, one can ostensibly be against legalization of such drugs, while being for abortion rights, because they produce different results in terms of harm to others.  Or you can take the argument of harm to the individual in question; if we ignore bodily autonomy, one can make an argument that drug use is dangerous to users in a way that abortion is not to the women who obtain them.  It’s not an argument I would use, but it is a valid one.

6. We are now seeing the unborn being treated for disease, given blood transfusions and even operated on. When a doctor does one of these procedures, who is the patient?

A patient is any recipient of healthcare services, so depending on your view of fetal personhood, it’s either the fetus and the woman, or just the woman.  Either way, the woman cannot be left out of the equation unless you believe in a lack of female personhood- she is the recipient of the services and she gives consent to have her body operated on.

7. Why is it that abortion advocates say they want women to have all their options, but they fight so hard against laws requiring totally informed consent?

In what other medical procedure does the government want to give doctors a script to read to a patient?  “Informed consent” is a way for anti-choice/pro-life forces to try to sway women to not have abortions, simple as that.  That’s why pro-choicers fight such laws; I am all for more information, but not sneaking in pro-life/anti-choice rhetoric (which also infantilizes women, by the way) by government decree.

8. If pro-abortionists are mainly concerned with the health and safety of women, why do they fight so hard against legislation requiring abortion providers to meet the same medical standard as legitimate outpatient surgery clinics?

Such as what?  Requiring janitorial closets to be a certain size?  Regulating the temperatures of the rooms?  Requiring longer recovery time for patients of an elective pregnancy termination than patients having a D&C for a miscarriage, even though they’re the exact same procedure?  Again, these regulations are not smart, sound, necessary regulations- they are actually more onerous than the standards for other outpatient surgical clinics, they serve no identifiable purpose, and they require compliance in impossible time frames- meaning that they’re thinly veiled ways for the anti-choice/pro-life side to try and shut down clinics.

9. Let’s look at a hypothetical situation. Two women become pregnant on the same day. Six months later woman A has a premature baby who is in need of some medical help, and the clinic workers are all trying hard to give the baby the medical attention necessary. Why would it be morally wrong to refuse such treatment to the premature born baby, but a “legal right” to kill the baby in woman B if she should choose to have an abortion? How can location (inside vs. outside the womb) make an essential difference? Besides, in partial-birth abortions, the baby is halfways outside the womb (oftentimes crying already).

Oh, Lordy … sounds like someone doesn’t know what they’re talking about!  Let’s refresh our knowledge of “partial-birth abortion”, also known as “intact dilation and extraction”- it is a late-term abortion procedure that is currently illegal (thanks to the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003), that was extremely rare prior to that (constituting only .17% of all abortions in 2000), and where fetal demise is required prior to the procedure (already practiced by most doctors, but specifically stipulated in Gonzalez v. Carhart, 2007).  So no, my dear- no babies halfway outside the womb and crying … just doctors performing a procedure that allows them to remove the corpse intact (rather than in pieces of tissue) so that the parents are able to hold, name, grieve over, and hold baptism or memorial services for their wanted but doomed baby.

You do realize that the vast majority of states ban elective abortion after 24 weeks, right (you might want to refresh your knowledge of state laws here)?  The scenario you paint makes no sense; six months later, both women are almost always restricted from getting an abortion unless there is a complication such as severe fetal anomaly or a threat to the life or health of the mother.  Are you looking to discuss the minority of places where these laws aren’t in effect (and if so, why are you focusing on the minority here but chastising others for focusing on the minority in rape cases down below)?

10. If it is true that “men cannot talk about abortion” because it’s a “women’s issue,” how come pro-abortionists have no problem accepting the ruling Roe v. Wade, which was exclusively made by men?

I believe that men can talk about abortion- absolutely!  The only thing that [cisgender, non-trans] men cannot do is restrict or advocate restricting a woman’s right to get an abortion, or judging her for doing so- because he will never be in that situation.

11. Oh and don’t give me the excuse what if they are raped because only 1% of cases of abortion are rape the other are 99% wanted sex.

Yeah, statistical minorities can go fuck themselves!  Unless you are part of a significant number of cases, your pain and anguish mean nothing!  (Please note the intentional sarcasm in those last two sentences).  Look, I’ve written before how jumping to rape in an abortion discussion is a bad idea (see #10), but the statement you’ve written above seems to say that 1% of women who get abortions (which is no small number to sneeze at, considering that one in three women will get an abortion over the course of her life) ought be thrown under the bus.  Is that really what you’re saying?

12. One more thing, Did you know that all the people who are Pro Choice are already born … 0.0

I’ve written before how that is a logical fallacy.

9 January 12

Why It Is Impossible To Answer The Question “What Is A Good Birth Control Method?” Without More Information

Because I really get tired of seeing this question and knowing I’ll never be able to properly answer it in the space allotted by Yahoo! Answers … from now on, I’ll just link to this.  Pardon the lack of organization- I mainly wanted to be as comprehensive as I could be.

It really depends on what an individual’s needs and situation are; there are so many different forms of birth control precisely because there’s no one that is perfect for everybody.  Some answers that are needed to know to help make a truly informed, really good suggestion:

1) Budget- how much can you afford and how much are you willing to pay for birth control?  Are you looking for birth control you pay for only when you need it or want to stockpile up on it (male condom, female condom, spermicide), an ongoing prescription you periodically pay for, usually monthly (most hormonal forms of birth control), or a one-time fee for long-term birth control (the hormonal and copper coil IUD or subdermal implant)?  Could you afford the bigger up-front cost for longer-term birth control?  Do you have insurance, and if so, does it cover birth control?  Do you qualify for cheaper birth control from low-income family planning clinics?  Are you willing to pay a little more for birth control that is more effective?  How often do you/would you have sex (because condoms are more cost-effective if you only do it once in while, but after a certain number of times, condoms become the more expensive option among others)?

2) Lifestyle- what type of birth control best fits your life?  Are you the type of person who can remember to take a pill every day, or would that be challenging for you?  Are you the type of person who is very vigilant about using birth control correctly (if you are, forms with wide discrepancies between perfect and typical use, like condoms, are okay, whereas if you’re not, forms with very close perfect and typical use like implants or IUD’s, might be better)?  Is a monthly prescription refill or a doctor’s visit every three months something you’d find onerous/hard to work into your schedule, or is that no big deal?  Can you access birth control- will your pharmacists dispense it (they can and some have refused to do so under conscience clause laws), is your pharmacy nearby, do they stock the brands of condoms/spermicide that you would use, etc.?  Can you swallow pills okay, or are you alright with injections or a superficial surgery on your arm (some people have an issue with these things)?  Do you mind touching or putting something inside your vagina like a contraceptive ring, diaphragm, cervical cap, or sponge?  Have you had children before (this changes the effectiveness for birth control methods like cervical caps or the sponge, as well as may make insertion of IUD’s more painful if you haven’t)?  How important is spontaneity to your sex life (a cervical cap or diaphragm, for instance, needs to be inserted at least fifteen minutes- and some say longer- prior to sex)?  Are you the kind of person who can reliably have contraception on hand for any sex that comes up (i.e. unexpected sexytimes happen in the car- would you have a condom/spermicide on your person, or would you be better served by using a form of protection that leaves you always protected without having to take any action at the time?)?  Is it acceptable to you to not have sex as a form of birth control (like avoiding sex when you’re most fertile), or do you expect to be able to have sex whenever?  Would you be willing to track your fertility (charting cervical mucous and/or basal body temperature every day), or would that be too onerous or undesirable?  How important is it to you to have bareback/condomless sex?  How important is it for you to be able to have your partner to climax inside of you?  Does it matter if your partner can feel vaginal/uterine contraception (ring, diaphragm, cervical cap, strings of an IUD) during sex?  How much control do you want to have over the birth control (for example- can you reliably trust a partner to use or keep a condom on or withdraw in time/or for men, to reliably trust your female partner is honest about their birth control use, or would you prefer to be the one in charge?)?  Are you okay with a doctor being in control of your birth control (i.e. they’re the only ones who can inject you with the shot or insert/remove an IUD or implant) or is it important to you that you are able to start and stop all by yourself?  Can you be open about your contraceptive use, or do you require secrecy from parents, an abusive partner, community, etc. (in which case, methods that require you to keep something tangible in your room or on your person may be giveaways that you’re having sex/protecting yourself against pregnancy)?

3) Risk tolerance- how much risk are you willing to take?  Different forms of contraception come with different rates of effectiveness, and some people are okay with a 5% chance of pregnancy, while others might need less than 1% to feel safe and confident having sex.  Are you willing to use two or more forms of birth control in conjunction in order to reach your desired level of effectiveness, or are you looking for just a single form that provides it?  As mentioned above, some forms have high discrepancies between perfect and typical use, while others have less- how important is it to you to be able to relax and know you can’t mess it up and affect the rate of effectiveness?

4) Side effects, risks, and suitability- what side effects can you tolerate, and what forms suit you?  Do you have allergies to latex, other condom materials, or spermicides?  Are you on medications that can interfere with hormonal birth control?  How much do you weigh (studies on hormonal birth control forms like the pill have been done for women from 120-250 pounds regarding the pill, and they cannot assure the same results for women over 250 pounds)?  Is your medical history compatible with different forms of birth control (for example, women who smoke, have diabetes, liver disease, history of heart disease/stroke/high blood pressure, history of blood clotting problems, history of breast cancer, etc. should not use the pill)?  There are few reliable, guaranteed side effects to birth control- some women are fine on it, some suffer side effects on it, and still others are fine on one/some form(s) of hormonal birth control, but not (an)other(s), so often trial-and-error is required- but what side effects would you be willing to put up with?  Out of all the possibilities (decreased libido, nausea, weight gain, sore/swollen breasts, spotting between periods, irregular bleeding, longer and heavier periods, depression, headaches, hair loss, increased hair on the face or body, mood changes, discoloring or scarring of the skin over a subdermal implant, etc.), are any deal breakers for you?  Is there an acceptable trade-off for you between side effects and cost, effectiveness, longevity, or ease of use?  How much risk are you willing to take in terms of potential problems caused by hormonal birth control use (bone density loss with injections, increased risk of stroke, deep vein thrombosis, etc. with pills)?  What about benefits- are you looking for a method of birth control that can control acne or reduce the number of periods you have or their severity/heaviness?

5) Miscellaneous concerns.  How soon do you want to get pregnant when and if you do (hormones can stay in the system for a while after stopping birth control, whereas you’re good to conceive the minute you take off a condom)?  How long do you want your protection against pregnancy to last- just for a few months/a year, or are you hoping to not get pregnant for five years or longer?  How soon do you need the birth control- are you asking for future reference, or are you planning on having sex tonight or next week and need something that provides immediate protection?

Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh