Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux

Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux is a freelance writer and a former writing fellow at the Prospect.

Recent Articles

Why Don't We Have Viagra for Women Yet?

AP Images/Allen Breed
L ast week, a small drug company called Sprout Pharmaceuticals announced that its version of “female Viagra” —a medication designed to enhance women’s libidos—was going back for yet another battery of tests. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants more data on how Sprout’s drug, the whimsically named “flibanserin,” affects driving ability. If this news sparked a little twinge of déjà vu, don’t be surprised. For more than a decade, pharmaceutical companies have trudged through round after round of clinical trials in pursuit of a drug that can alleviate some of the symptoms of female sexual dysfunction. Inevitably, a new set of tests makes headlines. Given Viagra’s blockbuster success since it was approved in 1998—in 2012, sales totaled more than $2 billion—there is a huge untapped market for a drug like flibanserin. More than 40 percent of women suffer from some form of sexual dysfunction in their lifetime. The most common complaint is hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), a...

Daily Meme: Northern Liberal Elites Are the Real Racists

On Tuesday , Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas indulged in a bit of nostalgia for the glory days of the segregated South, telling a group of Florida college students, "My sadness is that we are probably today more race and difference-conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school" in segregated Savannah, Georgia. (Meanwhile, on the other side of the state, an elections supervisor in Manatee, Florida was defending a plan to cut 30 polling places that mostly serve low-income minority neighborhoods.) Thomas, who was nominated to the bench in 1991 to replace Thurgood Marshall, doesn't speak often on the job , but he's not shy about talking about the abuse he's suffered at the hands of "left-wing zealots draped in flowing sanctimony" during his three decades in D.C. According to Thomas, Barack Obama was only elected because he fits "prescribed things" that "elites and the media" expect from a black person. When allegations of sexual harassment came up during his confirmation...

The Conversation: Elizabeth Kolbert and Bill McKibben

AP Images/Kike Calvo
F ive great extinctions have occurred in the history of Earth. Now, in The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History , journalist Elizabeth Kolbert eulogizes the decline of a handful of species and makes the case that a new mass die-off is under way. Industrial processes that pump carbon dioxide into the ocean are making life untenable for the thousands of plants and creatures that live in its depths, especially the vast but fragile coral reefs. Whole populations of bats in the northeastern United States have been decimated by a fungus brought to New England by an unsuspecting European traveler. The great auk, an extinct bird, suffered its last stand on an Icelandic island after being relentlessly hunted for just a few decades. By the end of the 21st century, scientists estimate that half of the world’s biodiversity will be gone. This extermination, which has the potential to be the most cataclysmic, is almost entirely driven by humans. The beginning of the sixth extinction coincided...

Daily Meme: Buy Thin Mints, Support America's Decline

If there was any group that seemed capable of rising above the culture-wars fray, it's the Girl Scouts. After all, what could be more American than scrumptious treats, capitalism , and crafting? ( The cookies are even gluten free !) Anti-choice organizations say the Girl Scouts have pulled the wool over honest Americans' eyes for too long. After the organization tweeted out links to "inspirational women" like Kathleen Sebelius and Wendy Davis, an anti-choice group in Wisconsin called for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies . (A "CookieCott, if you will.) Way back in 1984, Girl Scout leaders in Detroit eliminated talking about the dangerous duo of abortion and birth control in their program on teenage sexuality . The reason? A local anti-choice group sent a newsletter to its members about the Scouts' plan to indoctrinate their kids, and the cookie cancellations started rolling in. But as time went on, the efforts to turn America's girls into "little comrades" continued. In 1993, the Scouts...

Why Anti-Choicers Can’t Take Credit for the Falling Abortion Rate

On Monday, the Guttmacher Institute released a study that seemed, at first blush, to vindicate the anti-choice movement’s increasingly feverish attempts to end abortion through state-level restrictions on women and providers. Using survey data from 2011, the research organization—which leans pro-choice—found that abortion rates have plummeted to a 30-year low. Since 2008, the number of abortions performed in the U.S. fell 13 percent. Anti-abortion activists pounced to take credit, criticizing Guttmacher for “failing to acknowledge the impact of pro-life legislation” in its explanation for the sudden drop. The Guttmacher researchers point out, quite reasonably, that the most recent wave of anti-choice legislation began in earnest in the months after the 2010 midterm election, when abortion rates were already falling. If anything, abortion’s decline was in spite of anti-choice sentiment, not because of it. As the abortion rate was falling, so was the birth rate. Fewer women were seeking...

Pages