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Many misconceptions surround abortion and its political fallout

Darcy Keenan, Columnist Last week I was lucky enough to have Jacque Daugherty guest lecture in my human sexuality class (FSW 365).  She is a sociologist and works with the Western Program (AKA Individualized Studies) here on campus. She came to class to talk about abortion, and it was so much more than I envisioned it being. Dr. Daugherty’s first point was that most of us don’t even really know what abortion is – abortion is the term for the termination of any pregnancy at any time, for any reason.  This means that a miscarriage is a type of abortion; miscarriages are called spontaneous abortions.  The abortions that we often debate the legality of are induced abortions, which can be legally done in two ways. First, there is the medical abortion, which is done with pills. The patient will orally take a pill at the office and then go home and insert a second pill into the vagina. This causes contractions which causes the fetus to pass through the cervix and vagina.  One cannot have a medical abortion more than 70 days after their missed period, which means that the fetus will be no larger than an inch and a half. The patient will need to go back to the doctor at least once in the following weeks for an ultrasound that will check if the fetus has been completely...

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Efforts to decriminalize spreading of HIV are wrong

Darcy Keenan, columnist In 1990 the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency Act, also known as the CARE Act, required states to create and enforce laws that classify the act of knowingly exposing someone to HIV as a felony. This includes the donation of infected bodily fluids, the use of infected medical equipment and sexual activity where the diseased person intends to infect their partner. However, not everyone agrees these laws are fair. For example, Scott Wiener, state senator from California, is suspicious of the idea that  HIV/AIDS should be the only communicable disease that is prosecuted this harshly. Wiener also brings up the idea that it is easy to avoid the criminalization by not getting tested, which will allow HIV to run rampant throughout the country once again. Wiener’s points are valid, which is why his bill to decrease this from a felony to a misdemeanor passed in California in September and was signed into law by governor Jerry Brown Oct. 6. From a scientific point of view, it makes sense. HIV is no longer the deadly illness it once was. Because of advancements made in medicine, HIV is now treatable and controllable, and it is possible to live a happy and healthy life after diagnosis, comparable to diabetes. In fact, a medical doctor in the United Kingdom, Max Pemberton, author of, “The Doctor Will See You Now”...

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‘Me Too’ movement is positive, but only part of bigger picture

Darcy Keenan, columnist Over the past week I have seen the words “Me Too” on social media platforms more times than I can count. This started after people began coming forward about the way that movie producer Harvey Weinstein had abused and manipulated them over the past few decades. Many women and some men are using these simple words to speak out about the sexual assaults they have experienced in the past. Some are adding their stories to their posts, and others are letting the words speak for themselves. Obviously, it is terrifying how many women have already shared and how many will continue to share. There are too many people who have experienced such awful events.  The mass amount of people coming forward brings sexual assault statistics to life – according to RAINN, every 98 seconds someone is sexually assaulted in America; every eight minutes, that someone is a child. It is important to keep in mind, though, that not every person who has been assaulted will come forward and publicly declare “Me Too .” One reason someone might not share their stories is they do not believe their assault was “bad enough” to warrant a “Me Too” post.  They do not want to invalidate those who have gone through something traumatic with an event that has left them with no emotional or physical damage. Veronica Ruckh wrote...

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Miami needs to be clearer on alcohol violation consequences

The first weekend I was on campus this year I got a call from a friend saying that she wanted company because she had been drinking and her roommate had not moved in yet.  I ran to her dorm, and when I saw how intoxicated she was, I panicked and ended up calling the Miami Police under the assumption that it would be considered a Good Samaritan call. Weeks later, she got an email saying she had an alcohol violation.  Confused, she called the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution (OESCR) and she was told that because she refused medical attention it did not count as a Good Samaritan call. I was upset because apparently I never had an accurate understanding of the Good Samaritan policy. I did not realize that refusing medical attention would void the Good Samaritan call; that was never explained to me. Not in the mandatory AlcoholEdu I had to take before freshman year, not in any of my classes when it was brought up by my peers or professors, and not by the officers that I spoke to on the night of her infraction. In fact, not only did the officers fail to mention that refusing medical treatment would result in the invalidation of the Good Samaritan call, but we were told that because she only blew a .16 when she was breathalyzed...

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