October is, quite possibly, my favorite month — and one that, this time around, has put motherhood on my mind. No! Not like that. For starters, my mother’s birthday is in October (feliz cumple, Mom). And every Sunday of this month, I get to rest easy knowing that the NFL is fighting the good fight against breast cancer, which killed my grandmother, by requiring its players to don cleats dyed my least-favorite color and donating an eensy fraction of its revenue to medical research. Thanks, Goodell!

When my grandmother was my age — and already had a kid (❤ you, Dad) — the Pill was just in its developing stages. In my mother’s mid-20s, Roe v. Wade was fresh out of the Supreme Court. I wonder if either of them would have thought that today, in 2015, the question of women being free to decide what to do with their own bodies — of having a choice when it comes to motherhood — would still be up for debate.

Well, it is, and that blows, but let’s talk about it. Because October is still the most perfect month, your chasers for this week commemorate some of my — and hopefully your! — favorite things about it.

Curious why we’re writing about access to reproductive healthcare? Watch this video.


Shot: This week, The Guardian had a fantastic piece on Amanda Kimbrough, an Alabama mother who was imprisoned for the stillbirth of her son. Her story is a heartbreaking example of why the personhood movement can be so damaging.

Chaser: It’s sweater weather, y’all — you know what that means:

[facebook url=”https://www.facebook.com/snl/videos/10153650431426303/” /]

Shot: A new study from Texas confirms that increasing wait times to get abortions by shutting down clinics results in more late-term abortions — which not only carry greater health risks and financial burden, but are regularly under attack by conservative legislators.

Chaser: Steelers fandom is pretty much ingrained in my people from birth, but football culture is pretty fucked up! Let Amy Poehler’s parody of the best TV show that ever existed explain:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM2RUVnTlvs%5D

Shot: Here’s a reminder that the Supreme Court is likely gearing up to revisit the question of whether your employer can deny you contraception coverage based on religious belief.

Chaser: Fall is for eating things you actually enjoy, like a child’s birthday cake. (Not a specific child — that’s rude — just a birthday cake intended for children.) This one — which I once made for my housemate’s 25th birthday, so I can confirm it works for adults — is fucking good, and also has apples in it, which are healthy. You’re welcome.

And to close things out, some encouraging news of mice and men (sorry): The responsibility of birth control could finally start to shift toward men with a new study performed on mice, which provides evidence of a protein-blocker that could be the key ingredient in a male birth control pill.