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A Little Light Reading for Your Wednesday

Every pregnancy poses a serious threat to the mother.

"Pregnancy is a life-threatening condition. Women die from being pregnant. We have known that for thousands of years. They die from hemorrhage, infection, pre-eclampsia (which can lead to fatal seizures), obstructed labor, amniotic fluid embolism, thromboembolism, a ruptured uterus, retained placenta, hydatidiform mole, choriocarcinoma and many other causes that fill the obstetrics textbooks. Modern medicine can prevent and treat many, but not all, of these conditions. Some potentially fatal problems cannot be foreseen or prevented. Pregnancy always comes with some irreducible risk of death." -Dr. Warren M. Hern

Medical school doesn't teach the 'woman's life is in danger' curriculum.

"So when I received a call asking whether I could help this patient, my next phone call was not to the operating room to make arrangements — instead I called the hospital’s attorneys. They did not know how to interpret the law either. Unless my patient was actively dying — for example, we were running a code for a cardiac arrest — an abortion would most likely be illegal. If I did the procedure, I would be fired. To reconcile our disagreement, the hospital’s attorneys felt the only course of action was to get the opinion of the legislator who wrote the law. An attorney set up a conference call with this man so that I could plead my patient’s case." -Dr. Jen Gunter

Junk science has real consequences.

"When one woman in the chamber questioned his familiarity with female reproduction, Chambliss replied: 'I don’t know if I’m smart enough to be pregnant.' The better question is whether he’s smart enough to be writing laws." -Dana Milbank

Feminine weakness is a scam.

"I think about the background noise of our collective consciousness under patriarchy: assessing for violence, checking in with others, taking precautions. It can be hard to hear over — sometimes it is a hum, other times it is an alarm. Violence under patriarchy is not theoretical. The memory of it lives in my body, like it lives in countless other bodies. It forms its own tissue and knots." -Sophie Mackintosh

Knitting is coding and yarn is programmable in this physics lab.

"Dr. Matsumoto argues that 'knitting is coding' and that yarn is a programmable material. The potential dividends of her research range from wearable electronics to tissue scaffolding." -Siobhan Roberts


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