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Democracy

The one question we all need to ask in the wake of the SCOTUS Dobbs decision on abortion

Losing the right to medical privacy hurts us all.

abortion, supreme court, dobbs
Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash

Roe v. Wade guaranteed the right to privacy in our medical decisions.

The Supreme Court has issued its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson, a decision that we knew was coming and that overturns 50 years of precedent in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Roe v. Wade is widely known for upholding the right to an abortion, but it also upheld an individual's fundamental "right to privacy" (in the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution). In a 7-2 opinion (written by a lifelong Republican justice, for what it's worth), the Supreme Court decided that the right to privacy and liberty covered the right to abortion.

In the decades since Roe, people have rehashed all kinds of questions surrounding abortion: the nature of life and personhood, bodily autonomy, the rights of the unborn and more. And in those debates, we've lost the core of what the Roe ruling was really about—the right to privacy in our medical decisions, which affects each and every one of us.

The one question we should be asking, fellow Americans, is this:


Should the government have the authority to access someone's private medical and sexual history to investigate, judge, intervene in and/or prosecute their healthcare decisions?

That's the question. That's the debate. And I don't know anyone in their right mind who would answer that question with "yes."


In the Dobbs opinion, Justice Alito wrote, "It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives." Is it, though? Is government overreach just fine and dandy at the state level? Should elected representatives really be given the authority to determine people's medical needs? I don't think so.

Make no mistake—abortion is sometimes medically necessary to save the life of a mother or prevent undue suffering of an unborn baby. If it's sometimes necessary and the law acknowledges and allows for that, then the law would have to make the determination of whether or not it's necessary in each and every case. Not doctors, not the person carrying the baby, but representatives of the law. Investigators would have to delve into the personal, private medical records of patients to decide if an abortion was legitimate or not.

Who really wants that kind of government interference in their healthcare decisions?

If there are exceptions in state abortion laws for rape or incest, now we're looking at investigations not only into someone's medical records, but also into someone's sexual history. After all, anyone can claim they were victims of rape or incest. Such allegations are notoriously difficult to prove, so now we get 1) a slew of false accusations by women desperate to be able to get an abortion, which harms both real victims and innocent men, and 2) even more invasive investigations by the government into extremely private and painful matters.

I don't personally need a right to an abortion at this point in my life. There is almost no chance I will ever get pregnant again, and I can't imagine having an abortion even if I did. I do, however, need a right to privacy in my own medical care. That's what's being lost here.

I also don't begrudge anyone their belief that abortion is always wrong. I can actually understand how people get there, though I disagree. So by all means, debate the ins and outs and rights and wrongs of abortion all you want. Go out and hold up signs and preach to the masses and try to convince people to make different decisions. Set up pregnancy support clinics. Educate people about birth control or abstinence or whatever you believe is moral and right.

But allowing the government to legislate it is wrong. After all, the question of when life begins is fundamentally a religious or philosophical question, and we live in a country where we do not establish a religion. (It's literally in the first line of the First Amendment of the Constitution. And besides that, abortion access is a religious requirement in some faiths, so religious arguments for and against access are moot, legally speaking.)

We don't live in a black-and-white world. Every single pregnancy is a unique situation with a million different variables. Speaking in generalities is simple, but individual cases are nuanced and complex. Should the 11-year-old who has been raped and impregnated by her brother be forced to carry and bear his child when her own body hasn't even reached full maturity? Should the mother whose water broke prior to viability and who has a life-threatening infection, necessitating an abortion to save her life, now have to go through a painful investigative process to determine whether she's a criminal under the law? Should a pro-life Congressman with means be able to access abortion for the mistress he impregnated because he can afford it, all while trying to remove access for the rest of us?

You could say those are exceptions, but who makes that determination? Who gets to say what counts as an exception or not? Who gets to decide the criteria and determine who meets that criteria? Politicians most of us wouldn't trust to watch our dog? Is that really what we want from our government?

And what about the notion that abortion bans save lives? Do the lives of pregnant women not count? Not only will people risk their lives seeking dangerous unregulated abortions, but we could also see an increase in suicides in women who feel trapped in an impossible situation. In El Salvador, where abortion is banned with no exceptions, 3 out of 8 maternal deaths—more than one-third of mothers who die—are pregnant teens who die by suicide. Please read that twice.

The U.S. also has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations. And Texas specifically, where some of the most stringent abortion laws are being enacted, topped the developed world for maternal mortality as of 2014. Pregnancy and childbirth are not without risk, especially in this country.

But none of that, sadly, is even relevant to the central question:

Should the government be granted the authority to dive into someone's private medical and sexual history to investigate, judge, intervene in and/or prosecute their healthcare decisions?

Or more specifically:

Should the government—the random fellow citizens we elect on occasion—be granted the authority to access someone's personal medical and sexual history to determine the circumstances of a pregnancy and judge whether the healthcare decisions surrounding it are valid?

The answer is no. Obviously, no.

At this point in my life, I don't need the right to an abortion. But I do need the right to privacy in my personal healthcare decisions. We all do. That's what Roe guaranteed. That's what we have lost.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Pop Culture

Nicole Kidman shares the unconventional marriage rule she has with husband Keith Urban

They've had this communication rule since the very beginning of their 18 year relationship.

Keith Urban (left) Nicole Kidman (right)

Long before Nicole Kidman began her long-term relationship with AMC theaters, she was committed to husband and country singer Keith Urban. The two have happily been together since 2006—which is a good run for any modern day marriage, but most certainly a Hollywood one.

And perhaps their nearly decades-long success can be partially attributed to one surprising communication rule: no texting.

While appearing on the Something To Talk About podcast in 2023, Kidman shared that she was the one who initiated the unconventional agreement.

"We never text each other, can you believe that? We started out that way – I was like, 'If you want to get a hold of me, call me…"I wasn't really a texter.,” the “Moulin Rouge” actress shared.

She added that while Urban did attempt texting her a few items early on, he eventually switched when Kidman wasn’t very responsive. And now, 18 years later, they only call each other.

“We just do voice to voice or skin to skin, as we always say. We talk all the time and we FaceTime but we just don’t text because I feel like texting can be misrepresentative at times…I don’t want that between my lover and I,” she told Parade

.

There are, of course, some pros and cons to calling over texting. Research has shown that people who call feelmore connected to one another vs. texting, with the voice being an integral component of bonding. As our society becomes increasingly more distant and lonely, finding those moments might be more important than ever.

At the same time, calling can invoke a lot more anxiety compared to texting, which could lead someone to not communicating at all. Also, I don’t know about you, but the thought of having to call my partner for mundane things like “don’t forget the eggs” would drive me crazy.

But regardless of whether or not you adopt Kidman and Urban’s no-texting rule, perhaps the bigger takeaway is that relationship longevity depends on being able to establish your own rules. One that feels good and that each partner is able to stick to. Especially when it comes to communication.

As Urban himself told E! News at the CMT Music Awards, "I have no advice for anybody,You guys figure out whatever works for you…We're figuring it out. You figure it out. Everybody's different. There's no one size fits all."

Luckily, there are many ways to have good text hygiene, without having to do away with it completely. Very Well Mind suggests to avoid texting too many questions, and to be respectful of your partner's schedule (probably best to not text them while they’re sleeping just to say “hey,” for example). Nor should texting be used to argue or deal with conflict. Lastly, probably save the lengthy, in-depth conversations for a phone call. Fifteen heart emojis are totally fine though.


This article originally appeared on 4.17.24

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Family

Mom teaches daughter a perfect lesson after she threw her new pencil case in the trash

"I truly believe changing your perception & just being grateful can turn around any situation in life."

Photo from Pexels.

Getting lessons are usually not so fun.

Kids can seem pretty unappreciative at times. Parents often sacrifice a lot to give their child the best, just to have it thrown in their face, or in the bin. This is something that Haley Hassell recently discovered when she went to three different stores to get her daughter the latest trendy pencil case.

When Hassell gave her daughter the pencil case, she threw it in the bin complaining that everyone already had it. That's when Hassell decided to teach her daughter the perfect lesson.


In a Facebook post, Hassell explained:

"[Daughter] learned a tough love lesson today... I went to 3 different stores to get that LOL pencil box you see in the trash there. When I surprised her with it this afternoon (just knowing she would be ecstatic) she stared at it and threw it in the trash and slammed the bedroom door. She yelled 'that's stupid, everyone in my class has that..I don't want it anymore!'"

"OK So by this time there was probably smoke coming out of my ears and I'm trying real hard not to completely lose it on this kid that I have worked so hard to completely take care of financially on my own & make sure she always gets what she needs and then some. BUT I thought I had always taught her to be grateful & know how lucky she was but apparently sis needed a small wake up call!"

"SO before completely going Madea mad on my child I check myself and say, 'okay that's fine, let me go get the one you're going to use.' Came back with her new pencil box, which is the Ziploc bag. She lost her mind! Suddenly the LOL Box she just trashed was good enough and the Ziploc bag was horrible...but it's too late for all that."

Yes, Hassell gave her daughter a Ziplock bag as a pencil case since she didn't appreciate the LOL one.

"I told her to get the LOL out of the trash and we would be finding a child to give it to tomorrow..one whose mommy and daddies don't have money for any school supplies or someone who may not even have a mommy or daddy."

"I explained to her she's not entitled to anything special and she is taking for granted how lucky she is. So for now she will be using a Ziploc bag & will personally be delivering the nice box to a child that could benefit from it. Maybe I overreact sometimes but I would've done anything to have all the things she does as a child. I truly believe changing your perception & just being grateful can turn around any situation in life.”

Commenters seemed to love the punishment, with one user writing: "I'm down for this. Yes it'd be easier to give in, but sometimes you gotta teach them the principle of the matter."

While another added: "I think you responded appropriately. Maybe she can earn the one she decides she wants at some point."

Others were less receptive of the idea, with a commenter writing: "I guess I pretty much interact with my child on a regular basis, you know, take them with me when buying stuff for THEM so I know what they want. I talk to my child and care about their feelings. I don't fear monger them. But hey, good job being a monster mom!"

Personally, I fully support mom on this one and think it's important to teach kids to appreciate what they have. If you don't, they'll most likely turn into terrible adults.

This article originally appeared on 8.24.19

via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.



"We were just talking about things we admire about each other and he said, 'You courageously and radically refuse to wear a mask,' like meaning that I'm undeniably myself. I thought that was a really poetic way of saying that," Holland told Fox 13.

So, she had "courageously & radically refuse to wear a mask" tattooed on her left forearm. It's a beautiful sentiment about Leah's dedication to being her true self. It's also a reminder for Leah to remain true to herself throughout her life.

However, the tattoo would come to have a very different meaning just two days later when the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Kentucky.

"It basically looked like I'm totally, you know, anti-mask or whatever, which is not the case," said Holland.

Now, she was embarrassed to be seen with the tattoo for fear she'd be associated with the anti-maskers who either deny the existence of the virus or refuse to wear a mask to protect others. Either way, it's a bad look.

So Leah started wearing long-sleeve shirts and cardigan sweaters whenever in public to cover up the tattoo.

On Monday, TikTok users asked each other to share their "dumbest tattoo" and she was pretty sure she had the winner.

In her video, she talks about how her tattoo was about "not pretending to be something you're not," but then revealed it to show how — after a historical twist — it made her out to be someone she isn't.

"I just kind of wanted people to laugh with me because I think it's funny now, too," said Holland.

Plenty of people on TikTok laughed along with her with one user suggesting she update the tattoo with the phrase: "Hindsight is 2020."

"I was dying laughing. I'm like, I'm glad there are people that find this as funny as I think it is," said Holland.

"It will be a funny story to tell years from now," she said. "I don't think it will ever not be a funny story."

Unfortunately, even when the pandemic is over, Leah will still probably have to explain her tattoo. Because most won't soon forget the COVID-19 era in America and there's no doubt many will still feel passionate about those who refused to wear a mask.


This article originally appeared on 02.24.21

Family

Father takes daughter's bullying victim on a shopping trip to teach her a lesson

When Randy Smalls of South Carolina discovered that his teenage daughter was making fun of a classmate over her clothes and makeup, he took swift action.

Randy Smalls of South Carolina

Bullying is a huge problem. According to DoSomething.org, 1 in 5 students ages 12-18 in the United States are bullied during the school year, and approximately 160,000 teens have skipped school because of bullying.

So when Randy Smalls of South Carolina discovered that his teenage daughter was making fun of a classmate over her clothes and makeup, he took swift action.

Smalls instantly felt sympathy for Ryan Reese, a seventh-grader at Berkeley Middle School, having been bullied in his youth. So he took money meant for his daughter and went on a shopping spree with Ryan to get some new clothes and a makeover.


Smalls' wife and Ryan's mother Richauna Reese are friends, but they weren't aware of the bullying until recently. The families got on the phone after speaking to Ryan, and Smalls asked if he could take Ryan to buy new clothes and get a makeover at the beauty salon.

Smalls used money initially intended to buy his 13-year-old daughter some new clothes, but after learning about her bullying, he decided to spend the money on Ryan instead.

"I say, 'When you laugh along, you're co-signing the bullying," Smalls told Yahoo News.

"My daughter was upset, especially because she is into fashion," he said. "So she came with us and helped pick out Ryan's new clothes."

While his daughter was at church, Smalls took Ryan to the beauty salon and paid for twice-a-month appointments until the end of the year.

After hearing about the good gesture, local salons have also offered to keep Ryan looking stylish for the next few months.

Richauna, Ryan's mother, told Yahoo News that her daughter was struggling after the recent deaths of her father, grandfather, and aunt, as well as non-epileptic seizures caused by the stress.

The shopping trip has helped Ryan immensely. "I wasn't expecting it. I just started to cry. It (the bullying) was really sad for me because I had lost my grandpa, father, and aunt, and it really took me deep down in my depression," Ryan explained.

"This is the first time I have seen a parent take such a stance on bullying," Richauna added.

Smalls was overwhelmed by the response and says that it's helped his daughter see her mistake.

"I didn't expect for this to get big but I'm glad if other parents [can learn from it]," Smalls said. "My daughter learned her lesson."

"As parents, we have to take responsibility for what our children do," Smalls told ABC's Strahan, Sara, and Keke. "We can teach our children, but when they go and are around other children they can veer off a little bit. When situations like this happen, we have to take action and be the parent and not the friend."

And the pair seem to be getting along better for the experience. "They're cool now," Richauna said.

Watch to young girls break down the story in this adorable YouTube video:

This article originally appeared on 12.4.19

Family

Baby meets his dad's twin brother in an adorable viral video

Parenting is hard. Adult twins interacting with a baby? Hilarious.


Adult twins interacting with babies is pretty hilarious.

I know firsthand because I am a dad and a twin.

On my list of regrets as a dad, I'll place "not rolling video when our babies interacted with me and my identical twin" near the top of the list.

Thankfully, a dad shot some footage of his young son meeting his twin, and our lives are better because of it.


Images from Stephen Ratpojanakul's Facebook page.

Stephen Ratpojanakul (he's in the sweater ... I think) is a dad to a baby boy named Reed. Stephen also has a twin brother named Michael.

When baby Reed got confused figuring out who was who, I almost expected this dude to make a cameo appearance:

First, they both wore glasses.

Stephen Ratpojanakul (he's in the sweater ... I think) is a dad to a baby boy named Reed. Stephen also has a twin brother named Michael.

When baby Reed got confused figuring out who was who, I almost expected this dude to make a cameo appearance:

First, they both wore glasses.

And finally, they both took their glasses off. Baby Reed returned to the previous station.

True story: Parenting will crush you if you don't bring your sense of humor along.

Parents know how mentally and physically exhausting the job can be. It's also a job where many of us spend an inordinate amount of time second-guessing ourselves for the decisions we make.

The immense power of laughter is a great way to relax, boost our immune systems, and relieve stress. Sometimes, we laugh to keep from crying. And other times, we just laugh because our kids are absolutely hilarious.

Judging by the laughter and giggles, it's easy to tell that the twins truly love this little boy — and it's heartwarming to see all three of them enjoying some good times together.

All it takes is a smile for parents to know "you've got this."

The video is going viral — and don't be surprised if this becomes a twin trend.

With almost 34 twins per 1,000 live births in the U.S. today, there are more genetic lookalikes in the U.S. than ever before. Be warned, tiny babies — somewhere there are some adult twins plotting to have some innocent fun at your expense.

Without further ado, here's the video.


This article was written by Doyin Richards andoriginally appeared on 02.10.16.