Which is worse for women, alcohol or patronizing health advice?
This week, the Centers for Disease Control caused a real firestorm by recommending that all sexually active women who are not currently using birth control refrain from drinking alcohol. That applies to 38 percent of all U.S. women of reproductive age. The recommendation was accompanied by a super-shamey infographic warning against all the dangers that boozy women bring upon themselves and, of course, the hypothetical fetus that we should always be putting first!
The CDC rightly points out that half of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. Yes, that’s clearly an enormous problem — but what this recommendation seems to say is an admission of defeat: “Alright, we have too many legislators staunchly opposed to birth control and abortion access, so let’s just assume that any woman can get irreversibly pregnant at any time and go from there!”
Anecdotally, my mother’s German obstetrician advised her to drink a beer a day when she was pregnant with me. I turned out great! (I do not, however, recommend that you follow that example.)
Anyway, speaking of my birth, its anniversary is nearly upon us, and I intend to celebrate with some elaborately prepared alcohol. I’ve got a pass from the CDC, but even if you don’t, drink whatever you want! Really! I’ll help, with some recommendations of some excellent fancy (and less fancy) cocktails:
SHOT: In 2011, Texas legislators barred Planned Parenthood from the Texas Women’s Health Program, a network that provides reproductive health care for low-income women. A new study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project shows that since 2011, use of highly effective birth control has markedly dropped and Medicaid-funded births have increased among Texan women. Further proof that barring Planned Parenthood from serving women of limited means has real, tangible effects on their quality of life.
CHASER: Rum is an objectively terrifying beverage. Can you remember the last time you had rum? No, because it never ends in a comprehensive memory. Anyway, here’s a very delicious party punch with rum and campari.
SHOT: On Thursday, the Kentucky Senate voted to defund Planned Parenthood in the state. The decision was based on the insidious work of the Center for Medical Progress. Yes, we’re still seeing the effects of those videos.
CHASER: The Neverland Saur, by my old friend Jonah Frank:
SHOT: While we’re talking about the Center for Medical Progress: The damage that its videos have caused should serve as a chilling example of what can happen when someone with a camera and an unshakeable agenda calls himself a journalist. Just this week — even after his indictment — David Daleiden released another video falsely accusing Planned Parenthood of selling fetal tissue.
CHASER: I don’t know what “Velvet Falernum” is and frankly, I don’t care to, but this mix of tequila, ginger beer, cynar, and mint is 110 percent up my alley. Perhaps we have similar alleys?
SHOT: Apple Maps has a pretty big problem in its algorithm: In some cities, a search for an abortion clinic will turn up adoption agencies or misleadingly named “crisis pregnancy centers” instead. Last week, Apple finally started to address this issue — which has been reported since 2011 — in cities like New York and San Francisco.
CHASER: In college, my friend Brittany used to serve something called “Slut Juice” at her parties. I believe it was a mix of Red Bull, rosé, and Popov vodka, and you would ladle it out of a plastic tub. Honestly, it wasn’t bad! Take that for what it’s worth.
SHOT: An analysis by RH Reality Check shows that there were 147 anti-choice bills introduced by state representatives last month. Ninety percent of them were introduced by white Republicans — 63 percent by men, 27 by women.
CHASER: I once had a cocktail that tasted exactly like a lawn in the most wonderful way, and I think about it constantly but no one will go to that bar with me because the drinks are $13. Anyway, I did my best to find one like it — by googling “cocktails that taste like a lawn” — and found this, which looks extremely labor-intensive and has actual kale in it. You’re welcome.
SHOT: Here’s a conundrum that’s becoming all-too-common: You’re a woman living in a country with stringent abortion and birth control laws, you’ve contracted the Zika virus, you’re pregnant, and you don’t want to be. What do you do? Broadly interviewed physician Rebecca Gomperts, an activist mailing abortion pills to women who would otherwise be unable to terminate their pregnancies.
CHASER: I can personally attest to the fact that these are all very good, because I made them: