As predicted, women are suffering because of the two-child benefits limit | Polly Toynbee | Opinion | The Guardian

In these hard times, families unexpectedly crash-landing on to universal credit are discovering the full brutality of Britain’s benefits system, the meanest among comparable European countries. Stripping a third child of any support smacks of China’s former one-child policy, which forced abortions on women pregnant with a second.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service survey shows that more than half the women likely to be affected by the two-child limit who have had an abortion during the pandemic said the rule – introduced in April 2017 – was important in their decision to terminate. Fear for the household’s precarious finances, and knowing a third child would be shorn of so much once provided by the state, propelled them into the decision to abort.

Source: As predicted, women are suffering because of the two-child benefits limit | Polly Toynbee | Opinion | The Guardian

Parents’ grief as ‘trans teen’ taken into care| The Australian

A transgender-identifying teenager has been taken into care after parents resisted the push for irreversible hormone treatment.

Source: https://feministlegal.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Australias-first-case-of-a-child-removed-because-parents-resisted-cross-sex-hormone-treatment.pdf

‘The worst year’: domestic violence soars in Australia during Covid-19 | The Guardian

The coronavirus restrictions, combined with unemployment and financial stress linked to the pandemic, have caused domestic violence cases to spike across the country.

At the same time, those on the frontline say that, despite the federal government’s $150m in additional domestic violence funding announced in March, there simply haven’t been enough resources to meet demand for chronically underfunded support services.

Illawarra Women’s Health Centre’s Sally Stevenson says her centre hasn’t received any additional funds through the national $150m domestic violence funding package despite a 27.3% increase in domestic and family violence in the Shellharbour local government area.

She is currently competing against other services for a slice of the second round of federal funding, which is capped at $150,000 per service for 12 months.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s shameful, and it’s inefficient,” she says. While overrun services spend time applying for grants, “the psychological injury that [women are] experiencing from domestic violence is not being treated,” she says.

Source: ‘The worst year’: domestic violence soars in Australia during Covid-19 | Society | The Guardian

A landmark victory against hormone blockers for children | The Spectator Australia

Briton Keira Bell has won her legal case against the NHS’s only gender identity development service (GIDS) for under-18s, after the High Court found that children are unlikely to be able to give informed consent for taking puberty-blocking drugs.

The crux of Keira’s case was that she could not have possibly given informed consent to take the blockers, stating that,

‘I made a brash decision as a teenager, (as a lot of teenagers do) trying to find confidence and happiness, except now the rest of my life will be negatively affected.’

Today, three High Court judges agreed. Their judgment, deferred from October, concludes that it is ‘highly unlikely’ that a child aged 13 or under would ever be able to give informed consent to being treated with puberty blockers. It also states that it is ‘very doubtful’ that children aged 14 and 15 can understand the long-term risks and consequences of treatment in such a way as to have sufficient understanding to give consent.

In September this year the NHS launched an independent review of GIDS, which is part of the Tavistock and Portman Trust, and recently the Care Quality Commission carried out a separate inspection.

It was also revealed that 35 psychologists had resigned from GIDS in the space of three years, with many concerned about the service ‘over-diagnosing’ young people with gender dysphoria.

Source: A landmark victory against hormone blockers for children | The Spectator Australia

Puberty blockers: Under-16s ‘unlikely’ to be able to give informed consent – BBC News

Children under 16 with gender dysphoria are unlikely to be able to give informed consent to undergo treatment with puberty-blocking drugs, three High Court judges have ruled.

The case was brought against Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which said it was “disappointed” but immediately suspended such referrals for under-16s.

The NHS said it “welcomed the clarity” the ruling would bring.

At a High Court hearing in October, lawyers representing the claimants said there was “a very high likelihood” children who start taking hormone blockers will later begin taking cross-sex hormones, which they say cause “irreversible changes”.

Source: Puberty blockers: Under-16s ‘unlikely’ to be able to give informed consent – BBC News

Landmark Case in the Fight to Protect Nonconforming Youth – The Velvet Chronicle

On October 7, 2020, Keira Bell went to court in London to fight against a system that pathologizes and medicalizes youth nonconformity. At 16 years old, after just three appointments, doctors began the process of transitioning Bell, medically, to ‘change’ her sex. Tomorrow morning, the judgement on her case comes in.

Bell is a former patient of Tavistock’s Gender Identity Development Service for under 18’s, where she was given puberty blockers at age 16, and prescribed testosterone at age 17. She was later sent to the adult Gender Identity Clinic in London, and by the age of 20, surgeons had performed a double mastectomy on her.

Bell raised £50,491 (over $67k) to bring this case to court. She isn’t looking for compensation. She’s looking to change the policies that currently work against kids like her.

Young people do not reach full cognitive brain development till around the age of 25, a fact that the medical field collectively decided to either forget, or ignore, when it came to medicalizing and performing surgeries on kids like Bell. In the US, toddlers, as young as 1, are labeled “transgender,” children, as young as 8, are medicalized, and double mastectomies are performed on kids as young as 13.

Statistically, the majority of kids like Bell would grow out of ‘gender dysphoria,’ if allowed to grow up, without interference.

Medical malpractice has been committed on a global scale, because no one will challenge the foundational lie, that this is a biological condition.

This shift from a psychological condition to a biological one happened when activists and patients got involved with WPATH and APA, changing definitions from Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Dysphoria.

If the court rules in Bell’s favor, young people will have a better chance of growing up before life-altering decisions are made. This case doesn’t just represent Bell, it represents thousands of young people who’ve come forward with similar stories, despite a powerful campaign to silence them.

Source: Landmark Case in the Fight to Protect Nonconforming Youth – The Velvet Chronicle

Barbara Kay: The problems with Bill C-6 and the gender affirmation model | National Post

This bill seeks to criminalize “conversion therapy,” a term previously applied only to the practice — almost universally condemned as unethical — of treating all sexual orientations but heterosexuality as deviations in need of correction. But in its misleading bait-and-switch conflation of sexual orientation with gender dysphoria, conversion therapy has been extended to mean any treatment that slows down or dissuades a youth from early medical gender transition. In reality, sexual orientation and gender dysphoria are separate phenomena. A single therapeutic proscription covering both should have aroused suspicion in more than the few attentive House members who voted against it (and kudos to them for doing their homework).

Source: Barbara Kay: The problems with Bill C-6 and the gender affirmation model | National Post

Evidence for the purple line… – Dr Sara Wickham

Firstly, and especially for anyone who isn’t already aware of this, the purple line is a line of temporary skin discoloration that can be seen in the anal cleft of some women as they progress in labour. In early labour, the line is short, and it gets longer as labour progresses. Some midwives are good at telling how far along a woman is in her labour by looking at the purple line.

The purple line was first discussed in the literature (to my knowledge, but please see below) in a letter written to The Lancet by Byrne and Edmonds (1990), who described it as a ‘clinical sign which will indicate the progress of the first stage of labour without vaginal examination’. Interestingly, they attributed a Sister H Lake as having first observed the purple line. I can only assume that Sister Lake was a midwife, and have previously made some efforts to track her down, but without success.

In 2010, Shepherd et al published the results of their research study into the purple line.  In an article that is freely available, they observed the progress of 144 women in labour and saw evidence of the purple line in 76% of the women. These researchers hadn’t set out to find out more about the actual physiology of the purple line, but their results showed a medium positive correlation between the length of the purple line, the dilation of the woman’s cervix and the station of the baby’s head. One of their findings that I find the most fascinating is that the line was far more likely to appear when a woman was in spontaneous labour.

Having seen the purple line many times myself, though, I find it hard to believe that Sister Lake was the first birth attendant to notice it. I often wonder whether, one day, someone doing some historical midwifery research will come across an even earlier reference to this in old texts. Or perhaps in other eras it was so well known and accepted that there would have been no need to even mention it…

Source: Evidence for the purple line… – Dr Sara Wickham

Controversial ‘virginity tests’ sold by UK clinics – BBC News

Women are being offered controversial “virginity tests” at British medical clinics, an investigation by BBC Newsbeat and 100 Women has found.

The intrusive tests are considered a violation of human rights by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations, which want to see them banned.

Critics say they are unscientific, cannot prove whether someone is a virgin and can be a form of abuse.

The BBC identified 21 clinics and managed to make inquiries with 16 of them, seven confirmed they offer “virginity testing” and several others would not clarify their position.

All said they would carry out hymen-repair surgery, which costs in the region of £1,500 to £3,000. Data from NHS England shows 69 hymen-repair procedures have been carried out in the past five years.

Source: Controversial ‘virginity tests’ sold by UK clinics – BBC News

Breastfeeding charity sparks outrage by allowing men who identify as female to attend meetings | Daily Mail Online

A breastfeeding charity has sparked outrage by allowing men who identify as female to attend meetings for mothers struggling to feed their babies.

The British branch of the La Leche League (LLLGB) is offering to provide breastfeeding support to transgender women, who were born male.

A statement on the charity’s website says: ‘Trans men, trans women and non-binary individuals may choose to breastfeed or chestfeed their babies.

‘You do not need to have given birth to breastfeed or chestfeed, as we can also see in the experiences of those nursing adopted babies.’

Chestfeeding is a term used to avoid causing offence to women who have transitioned to become men and feel uncomfortable using the word ‘breast.’

But this week a former La Leche League leader told how ‘alarmed’ she was at the prospect of trans women joining meetings with other mothers in a post on Mumsnet.

She wrote: ‘I was a La Leche League leader for many years and am very upset to see how the organisation has lost its focus on the mother and baby.

‘LLLGB should not be promoting the idea that males can induce lactation to feed a baby.

‘There is no evidence to say this is safe, only an anecdotal example of a case where a doctor in the US enabled this to happen using off label drugs,’ she added.

Source: Breastfeeding charity sparks outrage by allowing men who identify as female to attend meetings | Daily Mail Online