Advertising for feminine hygiene products was traditionally so cheesy that it invited mockery far and wide. There was something so laughable and incongruent about maxi pad commercials that featured blue liquid and girls dancing on beaches.
Listen to midwife Emily Slocum describe delivering babies in the dark, with no running water.
In a conflict zone, getting the basics — food, water, shelter — is a constant challenge. And it likely involves being on the move.
Now imagine pregnancy. There might not be a functioning medical facility for miles. And the environment makes the woman and her baby more susceptible to complications.
Aid groups are increasingly relying on conflict midwives to help women in these situations. In dangerous and unstable regions, midwives' jobs are more than delivering babies: They often have to help women who have experienced sexual violence and have reproductive health issues.
A judge has temporarily blocked a North Dakota law that would have banned abortions beginning around six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat is detectable. It's one of several state laws passed this year intended to limit abortion.
Those backing the new rules say they will make abortions safer. But abortion-rights advocates say the laws are about politics, not safety.
More than 125 million women and girls in Africa and the Middle East have suffered from genital cutting and other types of mutilation, UNICEF said this week in the most comprehensive and quantitative survey to date. Nearly half of those women live in Egypt and Ethiopia, where the practice is still entrenched in the culture.
"It's seen as tradition — something that has just always been there," UNICEF's Francesca Moneti said. "It's just like how we get up in the morning and get dressed. Your daughter reaches the age of cutting, and she just gets cut."