Anna Almendrala is a freelance health reporter, former host of HuffPost's infertility podcast IVFML, and a former Sojourners intern (Cycle 24!). Her work has appeared in HuffPost, NBC News, the Guardian, the Daily Beast and Univision. She lives in Los Angeles, Calif., and you can reach her on Twitter @annaalmendrala.
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Christians Considering Surrogacy Encounter Conflicting Views
As more states pass laws to legalize commercial gestational surrogacy, which involves paying the surrogate a fee for the pregnancy on top of reimbursing her for medical and living expenses, voices from across the Christian spectrum are speaking out both for and against the practice and exposing a theological rift not just about surrogacy, but about all reproductive technologies available today.
Bombs Won't Liberate the Women of Afghanistan
Video: The Easter Bunny Asks You to Rethink Afghanistan
The Legacy of Wartime Slurs
Offering Better Choices for Childbirth
In the first weekend of June I watched some au naturel how-to videos on the oldest profession in the world.
Anyone who's read The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant, knows that I'm talking about the ancient practice of women supporting other women in childbirth. The assisting woman, whom today we would call either a midwife (medical training) or a doula (comfort techniques training), [...]
'New Year Baby' Documents Khmer Rouge Survivors
On Christmas Day a few years ago in Dallas, Texas, Socheata Poeuv's parents called a family meeting to tell her that her sisters weren't really her sisters, and her brother was not her full brother. After 25 years of attempting to live a "normal American life," her parents revealed a shocking family secret that would draw them all back to Cambodia, the home they fled and struggled to forget [...]
The Year of Living Biblically: Interview with Author A.J. Jacobs
In church one day, my pastor asked us to raise our hands if we believed in what the Bible said. The right answer seemed pretty obvious, and the whole congregation and I raised our hands. Then he asked us to raise our hand if we had read the Bible in its entirety. Touché, Pastor Sean. Touché.
In his latest book, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as [...]
Enemies of the State
The Philippines Armed Forces have been implicated in most of the recent human rights abuses that have occurred in that country (almost 800 unlawful executions since 2001). Journalists, activists, pastors, and lawyers have been kidnapped, tortured, or even gunned down in public for daring to advocate on behalf of the economic, social, and civil rights of the poor.
But since 9/11, the U.S. government has given the Philippines army $245.6 million for "foreign military financing," [...]
Where is Jonas Burgos?
Imagine you're eating at a shopping mall food court when you suddenly hear shouting and see a group of uniformed men (neither police nor army) drag a young man from his lunch a few tables away. "I'm just an activist! I haven't done anything wrong!" he shouts as they cuff him and take him to a waiting van outside. What would Christ-followers do? What would you do?
This is the scene [...]
Young, Brown, and Weird
Schools in the U.S. have been resegregating themselves at a fast clip for the past 15 years or so, and the racial demographics of some districts are approaching Old South numbers. Why should we care? I can tell you.
I was born in the Philippines and grew up in New Zealand, where 78 percent of the population is of European descent. The rest is mostly foreign-born, recently immigrated, and, in some cases, extremely socially [...]
Testimonies of Terror
While volunteering in a legal clinic in my sophomore year of college, interviewing people applying for political asylum in the U.S., I heard a lot of people describe how they had had to leave everything behind and flee into the jungle, carrying children on their backs.
I interviewed lots of people and read the personal statements of cases already filed, and all the stories were sickeningly similar. The [...]