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Tyler LePard

Tyler LePard has worked in and volunteered with a variety of reproductive health organizations, as well as in other progressive causes. Her background includes advocacy, public policy, communications, and health services.

Tyler is currently working in Global Health Policy & Advocacy.  Previously, she was Associate Editor for Rewire and then the Media Manager for Population Action International. She received her B.A. from Wesleyan University and a Masters in Public Policy from George Washington University. See Tyler’s blog at Rewire.  

All Work

Interview with the DC Abortion Fund

Tyler LePard

Abortion funds around the country make sure that every woman does have the right to abortion -- regardless of her economic situation. Tyler LePard interviews Tiffany Reed, President of the DC Abortion Fund in Washington, DC.

Men as Partners in Maternal Health

Tyler LePard

In honor of World Population Day, the Population Institute, UNFPA and the Communications Consortium Media Center sponsored a panel discussion on "Men as Partners in Maternal Health: Supporting Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies."

Abortion Bypass Denied by Colorado Court

Tyler LePard

The first young woman in Colorado to be denied access to an abortion via judicial bypass is told she's too immature to have an abortion, she's unemployed and she doesn't understand the risks.

Let’s All Get Tested for HIV

Tyler LePard

With so many people unaware of their HIV status, increasing testing is critical to prevent new infections and help HIV-positive people lead healthy lives.

Home Delivery Video

Tyler LePard

The News & Observer features a terrific presentation from photojournalist Juli Leonard about a home birth with a local Midwife. Watch the video!

No Period? No Problem!

Tyler LePard

The "no period pill" Lybrel is more about marketing than new technology, yet it has met mixed reactions ranging from questioning women's very identity without menstruation to lauding a new option for preventing periods and pregnancy.

Reality Check on Lesbian Health

Tyler LePard

A common misconception is that lesbians don't need annual exams; as a group, they may actually have higher risks for cancer and other reproductive health issues.

No Pills for You!

Tyler LePard

A pharmacy in Great Falls, Montana has refused to fill a woman's birth control prescription. The reason? The owners believe that contraceptives are dangerous for women.

Introducing World Congress of Families

Tyler LePard

"The Natural Family—Springtime for Europe and the World" is the theme for this year's World Congress of Families, May 11-13. The usual suspects of the right-wing movement are involved, coming together to oppose sexual and reproductive rights and health around the world.

Pet Your Dog … Not Your Date!

Tyler LePard

These ads from Advocates for Youth will make you laugh, but the not-so-funny truth is that federal funds are spent on abstinence-only programs programs that are proven not to work.

European Parliament Asks Sauerbrey to Reconsider

Tyler LePard

The European Parliament is asking U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey to reconsider attending the World Congress of Families next month because speakers' views are out of step with the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Media Watch: Time Magazine Calls Emergency Contraception “Abortion-Inducing”

Tyler LePard

An article in Time Magazine on March 30th sported some sloppy reporting on reproductive health. The article "A Pro-Choice Movement in Mexico" included a comparison of abortion policies in surrounding Latin America (emphasis mine):

Although Chile has one of South America's strictest anti-abortion codes, it's estimated to have twice as many abortions each year (200,000) as Canada - a country with twice Chile's population. (Abortion is legal in Canada.) As a result, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, a socialist, late last year sanctioned the free distribution of abortion-inducing "morning-after" contraception pills at government-run hospitals.

Keroack is Gone! Kappeler to Replace Him?

Tyler LePard

Eric Keroack resigned Thursday as Director of the Office of Population Affairs (in charge of Title X, family planning funding). I'd love to tell you it was because of the public outrage at his ridiculous positions on birth control and family planning (among other things), but it looks like it's because the Massachusetts Office of Medicaid is taking action against him. Hmmm... sounds like there's some dirt there.

Media Watch: The Palm Beach Post and The L.A. Times Take on Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Tyler LePard

Congratulations to The Palm Beach Post for their op-ed last Sunday "To have fewer abortions, stop subsidizing the lies." The editorial denounces Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) and takes the position that CPCs should not receive public funds. We have previously highlighted the lies and deceitful tactics used by these health-center-imitators, but it bears repeating until funding goes to medically-accurate programs (instead of zealots who believe that stopping abortion justifies lying to and harassing women).

Stumping John McCain

Tyler LePard

Last Friday, reporters managed to stump 2008 presidential hopeful John McCain. What tough topic caused the senator to pause awkwardly and stumble for an answer? Iraq? No ... Poverty? Try again ... Healthcare? Getting closer ... Contraception? Bingo! Specifically, whether contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV and should they be publicly funded.

Now, this should be a no-brainer. Honestly, anyone who has been through sex ed should know that condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV infection. Oh wait ... except that abstinence-only education gets tons of funding (while comprehensive sex ed gets none) and so it is prevalent in our nation's schools despite the fact that it doesn't teach kids medically accurate information, it doesn't teach them how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections and abstinence-only programs actually spread misinformation and religious dogma. Well, don't worry—McCain is also confused about his position on sexuality education. After a long pause, he decided that he thinks he supports the president's policy.

Global Women Celebrate International Women’s Day!

Tyler LePard

March 8th is International Women's Day and in honor of this occasion, I'd like to draw your attention to a great lineup of blog posts and videos at the U.N. Foundation's The People Speak (TPS). TPS asked prominent women from around the world to talk about a woman whom they admire. Featured below are two women's answers: a blog post from Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan and a video of Eveline Herfkens of the U.N. Millennium Campaign.

What Woman Has Inspired You?

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah: "Maha Abdel Waham"

Last year in Jordan, many remarkable women and girls from all corners of the world gathered together to launch the Global Action Women's Network for Children - a new initiative to tackle some of humanity's oldest tragedies. Chief among them are the needless deaths of millions of mothers and babies every year...and the wasted potential of tens of millions of girls who are kept out of school.

Office of Women’s Health Loses Funding

Tyler LePard

I couldn't believe it when I read the news in The Washington Post. I mean, I shouldn't be surprised, but it still seems outrageous—even for this administration. Of course, this is the same administration who demonstrated that "W Stands for Women" by eliminating the White House Office of Women's Initiatives and Outreach (where I am almost embarrassed to admit that I interned, shortly after the scandal with that other White House intern) in its first day of office (which was also my birthday, by the way). Not that I hold a grudge ... ok, back to the point.

According to insiders, the Office of Women's Health has had a quarter of its operating budget taken away by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And apparently they've already allocated or used what's left—so essentially they have no money to run programs and would have to halt operations for the rest of the year.

Documentary Film: The Motherhood Manifesto

Tyler LePard

According to The New York Times, "Mom's Mad. And She's Organized." Yesterday's article is about, a motherhood advocacy organization that made a documentary film about motherhood in America (watch the preview below). The organization is raising consciousness about pay, equity and work-family balance—framing them as economic and family issues "which resonate for a younger generation of women" (who apparently think feminism is a bad word).

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McCain Would Overturn Roe v. Wade

Tyler LePard

In an appeal to the Republican Party's conservative base, John McCain said that he does not support the law that legalized abortion and that it should be overturned. This contradicts his statements on the campaign trail in 1999 when he took a softer stance, saying that he "would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade, which would then force x number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations."

While in South Carolina, he also attended an abstinence-only rally for students, sponsored by a crisis pregnancy center (whose website compares the link between abortion & breast cancer with the link between smoking & cancer—a new twist on an old myth).

According to a recent poll, McCain is out of sync with over 60% of Americans who would not like to see Roe v. Wade overturned.

Celebrate National Condom Week: February 14-21, 2007

Tyler LePard

Happy Valentine's Day! In celebration of National Condom Week, which starts today, enjoy some condom-related news:

Lauren Sisson from CHANGE discusses female condoms, the only female-controlled prevention method against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Check out the blog on about New York City's brand of free condoms in colors that represent the different subway lines.

Increase your peers' access to condoms -- register to become a Safesite through the Great American Condom Campaign!

Reproductive Health in the Media

Tyler LePard

Jennifer Pozner from WIMN's Voices discusses reproductive health in the media in her multimedia presentation called "Reproductive Wrongs: Exposing Media Misinformation About Abortion, Family Planning and Clinic Violence."

Media coverage of reproductive justice issues informs what the public believes is true about family planning, sex education, low-income women's access to health care, anti-abortion legislation, clinic violence and more. Yet all too often, our most influential media outlets play political football with these issues, reporting their impact on politicians' position in opinion polls, rather than on the women and girls whose lives they most affect.

Sounds intriguing and spot on. Unfortunately, I'm nowhere near Easton, Massachusetts -- but if you are, check it out on February 12th and let me know what you think.

On a related note, the television show Veronica Mars drew a lot of attention this week for an episode that referred to RU-486 (mifepristone) as "the morning-after pill" in the episode summary (which has since been changed) and title (which has not).

Introducing RH Glossary!

Tyler LePard

Today we have a new and exciting tool for you: RH Glossary. You may have noticed certain words on the blog linking to a "coming soon" page -- now those words link to definitions. Glossary words are underlined with orange dots and provide definitions of common sexual and reproductive health terms, such as "family planning." These definitions are intended to help people who are just learning the issue to become more familiar with this topic.

Media Watch: Praise for CBS Evening News

Tyler LePard

Last week, CBS Evening News featured a balanced story on the HPV vaccine and proposals to make the vaccine mandatory for girls entering the 6th grade. Several states are considering similar legislation, but the segment focused on the District of Columbia, which has the highest cervical cancer rate in the U.S. The video does a good job of addressing the facts about HPV and cervical cancer, as well as showing parents' perspectives both for and against the vaccine bill—without falling prey to myths about the vaccine encouraging promiscuity.

Readers Check Keroack’s “Science”

Tyler LePard

We've had an overwhelming response to Andrea's post last Thursday exposing Eric Keroack's ridiculous assertions about oxytocin and premarital sex. (You remember him, don't you—the one in charge of the federal family planning program who believes birth control is "demeaning" to women?) Well, thanks to all of you who read Andrea's witty commentary or watched the slideshow, it has quickly become one of our most popular posts!

However, we realize that some people may not have wanted to wade through even one of Keroack's slides, let alone 68. So today we're giving you the trimmed version with Flickr notes. Check out our "Keroack Slideshow" photo set on Flickr (click on a slide picture then scroll over it with your mouse to see the notes). You can post comments under each picture to add your own commentary. Get creative—what do you have to say about this presentation?

Media Watch: Studio 60 (Friday Entertainment Edition)

Tyler LePard

Thank you, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, for making a joke of abstinence-only programs. The show returned from its mid-season break on Monday, with two storylines relevant to reproductive health. The first dealt with Matt (Matthew Perry) and Harriet (Sarah Paulson). Her devout Christian character enters a date auction to raise money for teen abstinence programs. She does this to get back in the good graces of a conservative women's organization (that disinvited her to a previous event because she wasn't anti-gay enough), though Harriet admits that she has no problem with premarital sex.

Recent Threats to Roe v. Wade

Tyler LePard

At first glance, the state of reproductive rights looks better on the 34th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade than it has in the past few years—last fall voters in South Dakota and California rejected anti-choice initiatives and the makeup of the new Congress is more favorable towards reproductive health. Yet despite these gains, Roe is far from safe and we must not take its protection for granted. From the U.S. Supreme Court to the state capitols, opponents of a woman's right to choose whether and when to have a child are continuing to introduce legislation that restricts that right throughout the country. Here's a roundup of recent abortion legislation news.

Blog for Choice Day!

Tyler LePard

In honor of the 34th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade today, NARAL Pro-Choice America is sponsoring Blog for Choice Day. So go ahead and celebrate your personal right to freedom and privacy - and let us know why you are pro-choice. Please post comments below.

Media Watch: The L Word (Friday Entertainment Edition)

Tyler LePard

Ok, so I feel like a bad lesbian for missing the season premiere of The L Word last Sunday. I had to find out about the pro-choice theme of the show via Feministing. (The cable gremlins disconnected my neighborhood's premiere cable channels... what's a girl to do?) Anyway, the first episode picked up the storyline of Kit (played by Pam Greer) and her boyfriend Angus deciding what to do about her pregnancy. Unlike other popular TV shows (*cough* Scrubs), The L Word dealt with the topic of abortion in a very nonjudgmental way. But what the buzz really centers around is that Sunday's show highlighted the hypocrisy of crisis pregnancy centers.

Media Watch: New York Times Magazine

Tyler LePard

In an opinion piece published last Sunday, Byron Calame (the New York Times' reader representative) wrote about a key component in a New York Times Magazine article on abortion in El Salvador: "Accuracy and fairness were not pursued with the vigor Times readers have a right to expect." The original article, written by Jack Hitt, had several interviews with women who had abortions in El Salvador - where the medical procedure is illegal and anyone who participates in one can get sentenced with up to 30 years jail time.

The controversy is over one of the women, Carmen Climaco, who is currently serving time in prison; the debate is whether she was punished for ending her pregnancy (as Hitt reported) or for killing her full-term baby after it was born (as court documents suggest). Calame contends that Hitt and his editors did not fact check thoroughly, and then denied their mistake when questioned about Climaco.

Fetal Pain Legislation is Pure Politics

Tyler LePard

Today the House of Representatives will vote on the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, sponsored by reproductive health advocates' good buddy - Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ). This is the act that would require women seeking abortions be offered anesthesia for fetuses of 20 weeks or more and told that there is substantial evidence of fetal pain at that stage. Rev. Haffner discusses this latest attempt to mandate bad information and Marcy Bloom examines the science and politics behind this issue. And that's exactly what's going on - politics.

This is just another example of abortion counseling requirements that are medically inaccurate. Fetal pain legislation is a common tactic used by abortion opponents to try to force women to continue their pregnancies. In fact, five states already include counseling materials on fetal pain, despite credible scientific evidence that fetal pain is unlikely before the third trimester. (And third trimester abortions are illegal - in fact, so called "late-term" abortions occur in the second trimester and "partial-birth" is not even a real medical term... but now we're getting off-topic.)

This bill puts politics in the doctor's office, without regard to sound science - so why isn't this bigger news?

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