I’m an OBGYN and I practice at a jail, where I take care of incarcerated women.
People often ask me, how did you come to work with incarcerated women? I was in the middle of my first year residency, delivering a baby. Everything was very familiar about the delivery scene; the nervousness, wondering if everything was going to be okay, helping the woman to push. But the one thing that was different is that she was shackled to the bed; she was a prisoner. And that moment troubled me so deeply that I developed an interest in learning more about these women.
Women make up a much smaller proportion of the correctional population than men — about 9% of everyone who is incarcerated. And 62% of [those] women are mothers to children who are less than 18 years old. Because women comprise such a small proportion, their gender-specific needs have been neglected. That’s particularly salient when it comes to their healthcare.
In theory, women do have the choice to have an abortion if they learn they are pregnant when they are in prison. There are constitutional guarantees — the 8th and the 14th amendments — and a number of judicial precedents, so it’s very clear that incarcerated women should have access to abortion. However, in practice, the people who are making the decisions have incredible discretion and many women lack access to abortion if they choose it.
About 1400-2000 births occur every year to women who are behind bars, and what they get for prenatal care is highly variable. There are standards that require prisons to have prenatal care onsite, but on the ground, some women have to be transported offsite and some women don’t even get prenatal care.
In labor, they usually get transported to an outside hospital. They can’t have any family support members in the room, and only 15 states have laws restricting the shackling of women in labor and delivery. A woman in labor, shackled, is what inspired me to work with this population. It’s inhumane and unnecessary, and it poses a lot of medical risks to the mother and the fetus. It also interferes with our ability to do emergent interventions if necessary.
People think prisons and jails are far away and we forget about the people who get locked up inside; we think they have nothing to do with us. So I hope I’ve given you some things to consider about what it’s like to be a woman when you’re in the grip of the prison or jail system.
From Dr. Carolyn Sufrin’s talk on incarcerated women and reproductive healthcare. Filmed at TEDxInnerSunset.
This isn´t a question, rather a comment. I just wanted to say how well curated this blog is. With the amount of Ted and Tedx talks available to watch, it can get overwhelming so thank you for showcasing the best of the best.
ALL THE FEELS.
You just made our day. Thank you for the kind words. And feel free to send us any TEDx Talks you want to see on the blog!
And to the rest of our followers — thanks for reading, watching, and for all the insightful reblogs and comments. You all are the best!
Maybe the reason that money doesn’t make us happy is that we’re always spending it on the wrong things, and in particular, that we’re always spending it on ourselves.
If you think money can’t buy happiness, you’re not spending it right. The implication is not, you should buy this product instead of that product and that’s the way to make yourself happier. It is, in fact, that you should stop thinking about which product to buy for yourself and try giving some of it to other people instead.
Think less about, ‘How can I spend money on myself?’ and more about, ‘If I’ve got five dollars or 15 dollars, what can I do to benefit other people?’ Because ultimately, when you do that, you’ll find that you’ll benefit yourself much more.
On this Cyber Monday, we don’t have any promo codes or delivery drones, but what we do have is pretty awesome: the super smart Harvard Business professor Michael Norton talking about how to buy happiness.
In his talk, Michael shares years of research on how money affects our happiness, revealing that buying that present for your mom might be healthier than you think.
Our TEDxYouthDay reporters share the change they want to spark in the world
This weekend, nearly 100 TEDx events around the world will participate in TEDxYouthDay, our tribute to youth-driven ideas and inspiration. Many of these events will be streamed online….for FREE! Watch along with us and follow the hashtag #TEDxYouth on Twitter and Instagram.
To get ready for TEDxYouthDay, we asked our youth reporters to share the change they wish the spark in the world. Their answers totally blew us away. Below, a few of our reporters’ big ideas for a better world:
My dream is for girls all over the world to be valued in their communities, educated, and given the opportunity to be leaders who have the power to shape their world. Katy Ma, 17, United States
"My big dream is to see more people think outside the box." Farokh Shahabi Nezhad, 22, Iran
"My big dream is for the youth of Africa to realise their potential — to see that no one is in a better place to solve the challenges which plague the continent." Tumelo Motaung, 25, South Africa
"My dream is that one day every child will have access to food, shelter and education." Bassant Okab, 17, Qatar
"My big dream for the world is better cultural understanding and tolerance." Tea Salazar, 15, United States
"I want people to have a deeper awareness of respect, understanding, and appreciation for those who have experienced the world in different ways than their own." Francesca Manto, 19, United States
We are all born artists. If you have kids, you know what I mean. Almost everything kids do is art. They draw with crayons on the wall; they dance; they inflict their singing on everyone.
Art is about going a little nuts and justifying the next sentence, which is not much different from what a kid does. Kids do art. They don’t do it because someone told them to. They aren’t told by their boss or anyone, they just do it.
Unfortunately, at some point our art — such a joyful pastime — ends. Kids have to go to lessons, to school, do homework and of course they take piano or ballet lessons, but they aren’t fun anymore. You’re told to do it and there’s competition. How can it be fun?
Besides, if you continue to act like an artist as you get older, you’ll increasingly feel pressure — people will question your actions and ask you to act properly.
What should we do then? We need to start our own art. Right this minute, we can turn off TV, log off the Internet, get up and start to do something. Let’s be artists, right now. How? Just do it!
Sure, you can watch TEDYouth in your pajamas, but wouldn't it be cooler to watch with friends?
We won’t judge you if you wear sweatpants.
TEDYouth is an amazing one-day conference for young people where some of the world’s most fascinating scientists, designers, technologists, explorers, artists, performers (and more!) share short lessons on what they do best. It’s the school seminar / life advice session / super-smart party we always wished we would have had as kids, and it’s this Saturday!
Only at TEDYouth would NASA Mohawk guy, an International Grandmaster of Chess, Jay-Z’s producer, and the creator of Google Glass hang out trading stories and answering questions — which is just what happened last year.
This year, TEDYouth is livestreaming free! In English, Arabic, and Spanish! Speakers include an elephant expert, the head of research at Pixar, a professional storm chaser, a 16-year-old DJ, and our favorite guerrilla gardener Ron Finley.
TEDYouth 2013 is gonna be great. And we hope you’ll watch it live with us. Because watching a TED Conference live is pretty amazing.
Happy birthday, Camus! Or, life is meaningless and birthdays don’t even matter.
Today would have been Albert Camus’s 100th birthday, and we want to celebrate, but we’re in a bit of a quandary — there’s something profoundly ironic about celebrating the birthday of one of the world’s most famous existentialists.
You see, Camus didn’t think there was much to celebrate. He spent his life torturing himself with one central question: Once we know that life lacks meaning, is it better to live or to die? (He was a super cheery guy.) Like others in the Existentialist tradition, Camus called out the absurdity of our lives—the activities we perform, the relationships we forge, the beliefs we hold. None of these things have any real meaning, says Camus. And if they lack meaning, can they have any value?
“The characters of a book are not afraid of reaching the last page. Long John Silver is not afraid of you finishing your copy of Treasure Island. And so it should be with us. Imagine the book of your life. Its covers—its beginning and end—are your birth and your death. You can only know the moments in between, the moments which make up your life. It makes no sense for you to fear what is outside those covers, whether before your birth or after your death. And you needn’t worry how long the book is, or whether it’s a comic strip, or an epic. The only thing that matters is that you make it a good story.”
So, here’s to Camus, and the many good stories he made:
Usually, when people talk about early childhood programs, they talk about all the wonderful benefits for participants: better K-12 test skills, better adult earnings. And that’s all very important — but what I want to talk about is what preschool does for state economies.
If you invest in high-quality preschool, it develops the skills of your local workforce and, in turn, that higher-quality local workforce will be a key driver of creating jobs and creating higher earnings per capita in the local community.
If you look at the research on how much early childhood programs affect the educational attainment, wages, and skills of former participants in preschool as adults … and you take research on how much skills drive job creation, you will conclude that for every dollar invested in early childhood programs, the per capita earnings of state residents go up by $2.78. That’s a 3 to 1 return.
Now, you can get much higher returns — of up to 16 to 1 — if you include anti-crime benefits, if you include benefits to former preschool participants that moved to some other state, but there’s a good reason for focusing on these 3 dollars because this is salient and important to state legislators and state policymakers. And it’s the states who are going to have to act.
Now, one objection you often hear is, ‘Why should I pay more taxes to invest in other people’s children? What’s in it for me?’ And the trouble with that objection is it reflects a total misunderstanding of how much local economies involve everyone being interdependent. When we invest in other people’s children, and build up those skills, we increase the overall job growth of a metro area.
Ultimately, this is something we’re investing in now for the future. Are we willing, as Americans, or are we as a society still capable of making the political choice to sacrifice now by paying more taxes in order to improve the long-term future of not only our kids, but our community? That’s something that each and every citizen and voter needs to ask themselves. Is that something that you are still invested in, that you still believe in the notion of investment? That is the notion of investment. You sacrifice now for a return later.