President Donald Trump called for a federal ban on “the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb” during the State of the Union address on Tuesday, doubling down on his criticism of a new law expanding abortion rights in New York.
“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb,” Trump said Tuesday. “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”
His remarks further amplified the national debate over later abortion, an issue that Trump has suggested he plans to focus on in the 2020 election.
New York’s new law, the Reproductive Health Act, expanded abortion rights to allow a woman to get an abortion after 24 weeks if her health, not just her life, is threatened and if the fetus would be unable to survive outside the womb. Advocates have said the law is a necessary protection for women who otherwise have limited options in the face of health risks or serious fetal problems. Proponents have also framed it as a safeguard against a newly conservative Supreme Court that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that effectively legalized abortion nationwide.
But anti-abortion advocates have criticized the law as an “extreme” expansion of abortion access that gives medical professionals too much discretion, and have falsely claimed that such legislation is tantamount to infanticide. Trump echoed that sentiment Tuesday, earning praise from groups such as Americans United for Life, which said Trump “may be the most pro-life president in American history.”
“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days,” Trump said. “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and their dreams with the world.”
But the New York law does not expand later abortion access to any woman with a healthy, risk-free pregnancy, and medical experts say that arguments that abortions will take place “moments from birth” are inaccurate.
“They’re using these theoretical extreme examples to try to scare people,” says Dr. Kristyn Brandi, an obstetrician-gynecologist and a board member from Physicians for Reproductive Health. She said concerns about women getting abortions while in labor are unfounded.
“It’s not something that any person would come seeking, and it’s not something that any doctor would provide,” she says.
The vast majority of abortions (90%) take place during the first trimester of pregnancy, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization that advocates for reproductive rights. Nine percent of abortions take place after the first trimester, and just 1% take place at 21 weeks or later, according to the Institute.
“No one wanted to meet my ‘living, feeling, beautiful baby’ more than me. No one is sadder that he ‘will never get the chance to share his love and dreams with the world’ than I am,” Missy Kurzweil, one of dozens of women who signed an open letter Tuesday about their later abortions, tells TIME. “My choice to have a later abortion was an act of love to ease my child’s suffering. Shame on Trump for exploiting that love to appeal to his base.”
Kurzweil, who lives in New York City, says she had an abortion in the 23rd week of her pregnancy in 2017 after discovering her baby had a rare brain disorder that could have left him living in severe pain. Kurzweil says she made an “impossible choice” with the little information available to her.
“No one wakes up 20 weeks into a gestation period and says, ‘I made a mistake.’ These are wanted pregnancies,” says Kurzweil, 33. “It really was this choice of quality of life and what is a livable life? And what are the things that would be manageable, and how much pain is sustainable?”
Trump’s call for a federal ban on later abortion because of fetal pain is based on model legislation created by the anti-abortion group National Right to Life, which praised Trump on Tuesday and said he “once again demonstrated the paramount importance of protecting mothers and their unborn children.”
There are 17 states that ban abortion about 20 weeks post-fertilization “on the grounds that the fetus can feel pain at that point in gestation,” according to the Guttmacher Institute. But scientific research has found that “fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester,” which begins around the 28th week.
“The evidence is not very clear that there’s an exact moment when the fetus can feel pain,” says Dr. Daniel Grossman, director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco. “There is good evidence that it can’t feel pain before the first trimester. I think that if you’re using the fetal pain argument to justify bans at 20 weeks, there really isn’t medical evidence supporting that.”
During his address, Trump also falsely claimed that Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam “stated he would execute a baby after birth.” While that’s not true, Trump was referring to Northam’s defense of a proposed Virginia bill that would have reduced restrictions to allow for abortions later in pregnancy if a woman’s health was threatened. Controversy erupted over whether the bill, which has been tabled, would allow a woman to get an abortion while going into labor
Northam, a pediatric neurologist, defended the bill and explained in an interview how he would handle a situation in which a woman went into labor during a pregnancy involving “severe deformities” or a “fetus that’s nonviable.”
“The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired,” Northam told the radio station WTOP. “And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Republicans immediately accused Northam of supporting infanticide. Northam’s office said his remarks were taken out of context and were only meant to explain what physicians would do in the event of a “nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities.”
Northam’s office did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday. (Separately, Northam is now facing calls to step down over a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page and findings that he dressed in blackface at least once.)
Men’s Date Night Grooming Guide.
Big anniversary? Maybe a Valentine’s dinner? Perhaps, after four long weeks of DMs, you’re finally meeting someone from a dating app in IRL.
In all scenarios, chances are how you look is going to be front of mind. You don’t need a rogue spot or bad hair to let you down. Fortunately, you can out-groom every blemish that stands a chance of knocking your confidence well in advance. Here are the proactive steps you can take to ensure that, when it comes to personal grooming at least, you’re always at your best.
Freshen Your Breath
According to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research in America, 86 per cent of people said that bad breath on a first date was a deal breaker, while 58 per cent of women said they’d end a relationship if halitosis was a constant problem. These facts probably explain why nearly three quarters of us feel less confident on a date if we’re worried about our breath.
And while it’s easy to blame a love of spicy food and onions, one of the main causes of bad breath is not cleaning between the teeth properly – you only have to swiftly sniff a piece of dental floss after you’ve used it for proof of this. And yet, less than a quarter of us floss daily.
“Men, especially, seem to have problems flossing, possibly because they have bigger hands so find it fiddly,” says Sally Goss, lead hygienist at the Harley Street Dental Studio in London.
If you find it a chore, try using interdental sticks or an electric flosser, which uses rapid bursts of air and water to effectively remove plaque and trapped food particles. An easier way to remove the gunk between teeth than traditional dental floss, it’s much more fun to use to boot. You can also replace the water with mouthwash for super fresh breath.
Be Fastidious About Facial Hair
Attitudes towards beards have changed massively in the last few years as their popularity has – like the whisker themselves – grown. But while women have warmed to them as style statements (one survey, by the University of New South Wales, revealed they perceive men with facial hair to be more attractive and better ‘father material’ than clean shaven ones), many still have concerns about their itchiness and cleanliness.
To make sure these beard-related fears don’t come between you and your date, simply practice a little basic beard hygiene. For starters, keep your beard clean and fresh by washing with a face wash or shampoo – just don’t overdo it.
“Over-shampooing beards strips out the natural oils that keep your beard healthy and moisturised,” says Eric Bandholz, founder of Beardbrand.
For extra freshness on your date – and to ensure your facial fuzz is soft and conditioned – apply some fragranced beard oil like Tom Ford’s Oud Wood Beard Oil, D R Harris’ Beard Oil or Beardbrand’s own Four Vices Beard Oil.
According to Bandholz, the best time to do this is immediately after the shower while your pores are still open. But since they’re pocket sized, why not take them with you and re-apply just prior to meeting your date, so you’re looking on point?
Have Lips That Are Worth Kissing
Pucker up, because your lips lack oil-producing sebaceous glands, which means they’re especially prone to dehydration and chapping.
To keep yours looking – and feeling – approachable, lightly slough off any dry skin with a toothbrush (a mixture of olive oil and salt works too), then apply a flavour-free lip balm like Aesop’s Protective Lip Balm or Lab Series’ PRO LS Lip Tech Lip Balm.
Not only will a balm keep your smackers soft and supple, it’ll also ensure they’re looking as plump as possible. Why’s that important? Well, a study by the University of Louisville has shown that both men and women find plump, voluptuous lips attractive.
Take The Shine Off Your Skin
Since men’s skin can be up to twice as oily as women’s, there’s always a chance that you’ll be sporting a less than ideal shiny patch somewhere on your face. What’s more, the stress of a date can actually trigger oil production – as can nervously touching your face with your fingers.
One way to deal with oil-slick skin is with the help of a product like Clinique’s Exfoliating Tonic or Baxter of California’s Herbal Mint Toner.
“If your skin is oily and you want to quickly cleanse and refresh it before going out in the evening, applying a toner will be very effective,” says dermatologist Nicholas Lowe.
Simply apply with a cotton wool pad and sweep across the forehead, nose and chin, where skin tends to be oiliest. If you can’t do this just before your date, make sure your skin stays shine-free during the day with the help of a mattifying moisturiser like Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator, Witch for Men’s Anti-Shine Moisturiser or Lab Series’ Oil Control Daily Hydrator.
All of these are formulated to hydrate skin while mopping up oil at the same time.
Few things knock a man’s confidence quite like spots, so what if one rears its ugly head on the day of your date? That calls for emergency measures.
This is where a concealer like Recipe For Men’s Anti-Blemish Cover Stick or Tom Ford’s Concealer Stick comes in. Both of these products have an advantage over traditional concealers in that they treat the spot as well as instantly disguising it.
Go slowly, though, gents – according to hair and make-up artist Ciona Johnson-King, the most common mistake men make when applying concealer is using too much. “That’s when it becomes obvious,” she says.
To avoid looking like you’re trying your hand at drag, she recommends cleaning the skin thoroughly first, and then applying a small amount and blending it in with your middle finger. “If you use your index finger, you’ll probably apply too much pressure and won’t get good results,” she says.
Always Be Prepared
Heading for a date after a long day’s work? No time to pop home and freshen up? No worries – there are an increasing number of products available geared to the time-poor man for whom a bathroom and running water are sometimes a luxury.
If you’re heading straight from work, think about keeping a dry shampoo of texturising spray in your office drawer so you can freshen up your hair before you step out.
You can also shave without foam with the King Of Shaves Hyperglide Razor (simply activate the self-lubricating head with a little water) and top up your fragrance by decanting it into a pocket-sized sen7 Refillable Fragrance Atomizer.
How to Move Forward When You Don’t Have Closure.
Have you bombarded yourself with questions at the end of a relationship? Questions about what went wrong, how you both just fell off. I know I have. Actually, I was asking myself these very questions about eleven months ago. What do you do at the end of a relationship when it doesn’t really feel over or you aren’t ready for it to be done?
First, there is a breakup. It doesn’t really matter who ended it, but it ended. Despite the ending, you are still bonded to this person. You were used to having them around, hearing their voice, getting their texts, cuddling, and then, suddenly, it’s all gone.
Sometimes you know why it ended, and sometimes not. Oftentimes, you wish you could talk to that person to find some closure, some sort of validation that the relationship truly existed, that you meant something—anything.
Why They Avoid You
If you have a habit of picking emotionally challenged partners raises hand who would rather stare at Instagram or play games on their mobile phone than have actual conversations, then the chances of getting closure are quite slim. Oftentimes you have to make the closure for yourself.
What if they won’t talk to you? What if you follow all the experts’ advice on what to do after a breakup, and they completely ignore you anyway? I’ve had this happen.
Closure is something almost everyone would like. I mean, we humans like validation and understanding.
It can be easy to accept that someone doesn’t want to be with you. You can accept that the relationship has changed or that they want something else. What I think is unacceptable or what we can’t accept is our partner’s inability to communicate that fact effectively and tell us what went wrong.
In my experience, people can’t always be honest with you because they can’t be honest with themselves. It isn’t about you. We always want it to be about us and our flaws and failures, but sometimes, it isn’t.
Many people don’t know how to deal with their emotions, so they prefer to avoid their feelings altogether, and this is most likely the reason they won’t talk to you. It has nothing to do with you or the relationship or something you did wrong or that you weren’t enough.
in my experience, people can’t always be honest with you because they can’t be honest with themselves
The First Time
I’ve dealt with trying to get closure a few times and it’s always awful. No one likes to not get answers they desperately need. But what you have to learn is that any answer you get won’t change anything, and it may or may not be the truth anyway.
It has happened at least twice. One guy I dated off and on for about a year and a half. I wanted to leave him after a while because he would never fully commit, but for some reason, I couldn’t. Eventually, the time for us to move on came. Then he suddenly became super nice to me, so so nice that it made me wonder what he was up to. I guessed he was struggling with trying to commit to me.
Of course, he couldn’t, and so he ended things before I could adapt to his new pattern.
To be honest, I knew the breakup was coming, so I accepted it and wished him well. Despite the end of the relationship, he had come to be an important part of my life. So I called a few weeks later and said I wanted to be friends and that he meant a lot to me.
He said he’d call me later in the week. Do you think I ever heard from him again? Of course not.
I was devastated. I wasn’t really sad about the loss of the relationship, but for the friendship I thought we had. Like a dummy, I reached out to him again several times after, and he literally said the same thing: “I’ll call you later in the week.” I was trying to get something from him that he could never give me.
After that call, I knew reaching out to him again would be a waste of my time and energy and would only cause me more pain, so I decided I would have to get closure for myself somehow.
When I look back, I realize I wanted him to validate our relationship. I wanted him to prove he meant what he said. I wanted to know I had meant something to him, anything. The truth is that I will never know, and I’ve had to come to terms with that.
If you are struggling with getting closure from an ex, ask yourself why you want to talk to them. Is it to get them back? Is it to get them to validate the relationship? Is it to try to get some type of reaction or any type of reaction? Are you pretending that you really need to give back that t-shirt or get back that book you let them borrow?
If you are making up reasons why you need to talk to them, then perhaps you need to get closure from yourself. If they won’t talk to you, reaching out will likely cause you more pain and frustration. So instead, I suggest the following:
- Write a letter every time you feel the need to reach out for answers. You don’t have to send it. Just do it to put your feelings out.
- Write out reasons why they may be avoiding you that have nothing to do with you. We all create explanations in our heads as to why our ex won’t talk to us. We imagine they think bad things about us, they don’t want us, that we weren’t enough, or that everything was our fault. Thoughts in your head are just your interpretation of what happened, and they are usually incorrect. So try thinking in the direction of it being their fault, their own loss.
- Unless this was your first love, remember that you loved before and you got over it. You control whether you move on. And you can decide if you want to wallow in self-pity and misery, or pick yourself up off the floor and be the spectacular, amazing person you are and get out there and show yourself to the world.
- Be alone. Be still. Cry, if you want/need to and accept that what once was is no longer. If it’s meant to be in the future, it will find a way to work itself out. Maybe now is just not the time.
- Live in abundance. They are not the only person in the world. There are literally millions of single people in the world. If you had love before, you will have it again. Stop thinking that you’ll never find someone else so wonderful. If they were so wonderful they would still be with you. They aren’t. They’re gone.
Think About It
What is it you are really hoping to hear? Do you think most people can admit their fears? Of course, we all would like our partner to care enough to tell us the truth no matter how much it hurts.
There are a million reasons that relationships don’t work and tons of reasons why your ex won’t talk to you. Don’t take on their issues and make them your own. Realize that we all have insecurities, and not all of us can understand how they impact us.
I’m sure you would love for your ex to say, “You are truly amazing and wonderful, but I don’t think we are a match.” The reason most won’t say this is that they don’t want you to come back at them with all sorts of reasons why you are a match, so they’d rather avoid the topic altogether.
For whatever reason, your ex has chosen to cease all communication with you. The best thing you can do is take it as a sign from the universe that it’s time to move on, and that any person worthy of being your partner would never leave you in the lurch like that.
Remember this saying, “If not this, something better.” These words sound stupid and irritating when your relationship has just ended, but they are true for a reason.
Sometimes you get closure and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes the lack of closure is the very lesson that you needed to learn. Maybe you needed to learn to validate yourself and accept yourself.
Consider seeing this person as a gift sent to you. They were brought to you as a reflection of yourself. Thank them for being a part of your journey and send them on their way in your mind.
Lastly, if you are waiting for your ex to give you closure, it might be time to dig deep inside and give it to yourself.
Written By: Osasogie Omoigui
4 Reasons People Fall In Love At First Sight.
Do you believe in ‘love at first sight’?
It's a phrase that splits opinion: hopeless romantics swear it be true while those who are perhaps slightly more cynical believe that you can only have infatuation at first sight, not love.
But what if we told you that we have actual scientific evidence behind it? Yeah, that's right, SCIENCE.
Here, Pure Optical present the science behind the phenomenon along with 5 reasons that will prove its existence to even the harshest of sceptics.
See, there is still time to find love before Valentine's Day!
Love is a drug
When a person falls in love, a chemical reaction ignites in the brain and Dopamine and Serotonin is produced. According to Dr Trisha Stratford, at this point the brain ‘looks like the brain of someone high on heroin’.
Dopamine is produced by the hypothalamus (the brains reward pathway) which causes elation and a sense of euphoria when we are around the people that we love. Extreme levels of dopamine are related to the production of the hormone norepinephrine which can cause a loss in appetite and affect the quality of our sleep. Norepinephrine plays an instrumental role in the brains ‘fight or flight’ mode which kicks in when a person is particularly stressed or finds themselves in an extreme situation. Scans of the brain show that the primary centre of the brain sees a great spark when people are shown an image of someone that they are in love with as appose to just an acquaintance that they know.
Serotonin is released soon after meeting someone that we find attractive and in turn, has a huge impact on our feelings throughout the initial stages of a relationship. It is said that serotonin distracts the mind to such an extent that a person can hold thoughts of the person that they are attracted to for up to 65% of the day.
The combination of dopamine and serotonin are so influential throughout the preliminary stages of a relationship that people can attribute their effects to love. This breaths truth in the term ‘love at first sight’.
The Attractiveness Halo.
The attractiveness halo is strongly linked to first impressions and therefore plays an influential role in the concept of love at first sight. The attractiveness halo falls under the umbrella of cognitive bias which is when a person lays such focus on one positive element of an individual, that as a whole they seem more attractive.
The attractiveness halo causes a person to believe that if someone is physically attractive, then they must have other traits within their personality that they will also find desirable. Confirmation bias is almost synonymous with ‘love at first sight’. Confirmation Bias is the tendency to use new information to reinforce your current beliefs. Positive interactions with a person are then taken so personally that any negative encounters or traits are ignored. The attractiveness halo leads a person to believe that they may have experienced love at first sight as they have homed in only on the persons attractive qualities and somewhat built a fictional character.
Recreating the past.
We can all be guilty of rewriting history and our memories of specific encounters or situations can alter over time. A study conducted by the University of Groningen uncovered the belief that love at first sight may be a bi product of the phenomenon ‘Positive Illusion’. Positive illusion is when you and your partner grow to believe that you fell in love at first sight as you are so in love now. Consequently, your current feelings are applied to the memory of your first encounter leading you to believe that you have always been in love.
The Groningen University study showed that people who believe that they fell in love at first sight ended up in long term relationships with each other. This saw the university draw the conclusion that their experience of love at first sight is the result of memory bias.
Creating an impression.
A first impression is made within the first 7 seconds of meeting someone. Consequently, people can determine almost immediately if someone is attractive or not. A strong sense of attraction can be regarded as love at first sight as it can quickly evolve into lust.
As we determine if we are attracted to someone in a matter of seconds, our brains release the hormone oxytocin throughout the stages of initial contact. Oxytocin is often referred to as the ‘hormone of love.’ Arguably, if our brains are telling us that we are in love, then it is possible to fall in love at first sight.
The influence of eye contact.
The University of Chicago conducted a study to determine if eye contact contributes to love at first sight. The study focused on eye movements and whether there was a difference between the movements of love and lust. The research involved showcasing images of romantic love as well as images that focused on lust. The study saw that people are more likely to focus on the faces of those they were in love and focus on the body’s in the other images supporting the notion of love at first sight.
Lifestyle: Should All Couples Sleep Apart?
In the same week that a Kickstarter campaign was set up to fund the production of an interactive button encouraging partners to signal they are in the mood for sex, as opposed to just, you know, telling them, the carmaker Ford has suggested an even less romantic product – stay-in-your-lane mattress technology for couples. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Ford’s mattress design would include a mechanism to “nudge” partners to their own side of the bed if they began to dominate the space. According to studies (no doubt funded by bed manufacturers), one in four people report better sleep when they sleep alone, which does make some sense, given there is no risk of duvet larceny by your other half, or disruptive snoring. But the idea of couples actually sleeping in separate beds is rather saddening. It seems just a step away from the set-up of former couple Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton, who lived in adjoining houses.
Perhaps it’s the practice of sleeping in separate rooms that Ford is trying to avoid, although it remains perplexing why a car manufacturer actually cares (the mattress is at the prototype stage). Maybe less tired people buy more cars? There is also, surely, a glaring issue with this mattress: there are other things couples do in bed, which involve being quite close together, and during which being “nudged” probably isn’t ideal.
“Humans are most vulnerable when sleeping,” says Neil Stanley, the author of How to Sleep Well, “so we’re programmed to wake when something or someone touches us unexpectedly.” The thing is, though, your significant other sleeping in your bed touching you isn’t unexpected, is it? It’s sort of the point of sleeping together, in both senses of the term.
Don’t get me wrong: none of us enjoy being locked in a vice-like grip by the one-night stand we cannot wait to kick out at first light, but spooning with someone you actually like, nay, love; holding hands; “snuggling” (so sorry) – all of these things are quite nice. So, I won’t be investing in Ford’s mattress – although I am sure it will come in any colour, so long as it’s black.
Data Source: The Guardian
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