About Tara Culp-Ressler

Tara Culp-Ressler is the Health Editor for ThinkProgress. Before joining the ThinkProgress team, Tara deepened her interest in progressive politics from a faith-based perspective at several religious nonprofits, including Faith in Public Life, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, and Interfaith Voices. Tara holds a B.A. in Communications from American University, where she wrote for the student newspaper and advocated for women's issues on campus. She is originally from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Is Sexual Violence the New Normal?

Sexual Violence on College Campuses

Tara Culp-Ressler: Taught that men can’t control their aggressive sex drives, young women believe that they will inevitably become the subject of that aggression. That’s a central aspect of rape culture,

Should Campus Rapes Affect College Rankings?

campus rape protests

Tara Culp-Ressler: A group of lawmakers is pressuring U.S. News & World Report to update its influential college ranking system to indicate which universities have come under fire for failing to adequately handle sexual assault cases on campus.

Florida Refuses to Expand Medicaid: 32-Year-Old Woman Dies


Tara Culp-Ressler: A recent study conducted by Harvard researchers estimated that as many as 17,000 people will die directly as a result of their states refusing to expand Medicaid.

10x More Mentally Ill Americans in Prison Than In State Hospitals


Tara Culp-Ressler: 44 states and the District of Columbia have at least one jail that houses more people with mental illnesses than the largest state psychiatric hospital does.

Abstinence-Only Lessons: Making Sex Dirty


Tara Culp-Ressler: 5 common analogies abstinence-only curricula use to teach youth that becoming sexually active makes them worthless

States That Expanded Medicaid See Huge Jump In Enrollments


Tara Culp-Ressler: Obamacare has had a “woodwork effect” — essentially, helping to raise awareness about people’s health insurance options, and therefore encouraging uninsured Americans to come out of the woodwork to sign up for Medicaid.

Brad Pitt’s New Movie On The Steubenville Rape Case Has The Wrong Protagonist


Tara Culp-Ressler: It’s disconcerting that the myths about rape victims, as well as the high-profile coverage of false rape allegations, vastly outweigh the space for thoughtful, honest consideration of survivors’ personal stories.

At Least 9.5 Million Uninsured Americans Have Gained Coverage Under Obamacare


Tara Culp-Ressler: RAND estimates that about two million previously uninsured people have enrolled in private coverage on Obamacare’s new marketplaces; about 4.5 million previously uninsured people have gained public coverage through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion; and about three million previously uninsured young people are now covered on their parents’ insurance plans.

Sex Strike: Don’t Give It To a Russian


Tara Culp-Ressler: The new campaign, “Don’t Give It to a Russian,” is encouraging Ukrainian women to withhold sex from Russian men as a method of fighting the enemy “by whatever means.”

The Secret Strategy Behind 20-Week Abortion Bans


Tara Culp-Ressler: The political momentum for 20-week abortion bans is really about finding an initial foothold to chip away at Roe v. Wade.

Robin Thicke’s All Wet: Sexual Aggression Doesn’t Actually Have Blurred Lines


Sexual Aggression: Researchers found that sexually aggressive men are consciously seeking out women who may be easy targets.

After Failing To Pass Anti-Gay Bill, Arizona Turns Its Attention To Attacking Abortion Rights


Attacking Abortion Rights: After Brewer’s widely publicized veto, lawmakers in Arizona advanced new legislation to attack abortion rights.

ACLU Warns That Latest Push to Restrict Abortion Is an ‘Assault On Women’


Alabama Abortion Bill: Alabama politicians are upfront about their goal of this package of legislation is to end abortion altogether.

California Lawmakers Updating State’s Definition of ‘Consent’?


Affirmative Consent: California lawmakers have been focused on policy solutions to address colleges’ inadequate sexual assault policies.

5 Ways Our Society Unfairly Punishes Women For Their Sexuality


Punishing Women for Their Sexuality — Our societal assumptions about women’s purity and chastity are directly related to rape culture.

Dee Dee Bridgewater Speaks Out About Her Illegal Abortion


Dee Dee Bridgewater: “I remember being very humiliated, to the point that today. Thinking about it makes me want to cry.”

Body Shaming The Biggest Loser’s Newest Winner


The Biggest Loser: Criticizing Fredrickson’s appearance nowmay not actually be any more sensitive than criticizing her body before the show.

The Stealth Campaign to Destroy Abortion Rights You Know Nothing About


Destroy Abortion Rights: Iowa’s current push to restrict telemedicine could have big consequences for abortion access across the country.

Sandra Fluke, Wendy Davis, And How The Fight For Reproductive Rights Is Inspiring Women To Run For Office


Sandra Fluke for Congress — Fluke’s decision to pursue a seat in Congress bears some similarities to the career of Wendy Davis.

No, Giving Teen Girls the HPV Vaccine Does Not Encourage Them to Have Sex


HPV Vaccine — Kahn’s study adds to a growing body of research debunking the myth that HPV vaccination encourages risky sexual behavior.

Why Racism Is A Public Health Issue


Racism Public Health Issue — Structures of racism and privilege continue to put a serious toll on the African American community’s health.

Lawmakers Pressure The U.S. Government To Get Better At Cracking Down On Campus Rape


Preventing Campus Rape — Congress’ push to improve the way the government handles sexual assaults comes on after Obama’s announcement.

GOP Doubles Down on Its Anti-Abortion Strategy


GOP Anti-Abortion Strategy — Conservatives plans to present a resolution urging the GOP to take a more forceful stance against abortion.

Who Can Block Anti-Choice Onslaught?


Anti-Choice Agenda — The anti-choice agenda diverges sharply from one of the fasting-growing demographic groups in the country: young people of color.

California Law Proposed to Prevent Colleges from Sweeping Rape Under the Rug


College Rape Bill — Gatto was inspired after Occidental College made headlines for allegedly failing to accurately report sexual crimes.

Could 2014 Be Huge Turning Point for Reproductive Rights?


Reproductive Rights – After the recent assault on women’s bodily autonomy, it will take time to pull the country back to the other direction.

Next Year’s Attacks on Abortion Rights Already Underway


Attacks on Abortion Rights — Abortion opponents across the country are already laying the groundwork for the next fights in the new year.

How Millions Denied Medicaid Coverage Fight Back


Millions Denied Medicaid — “Texas Left Me Out” is a new campaign that’s collecting stories from uninsured Texans.

Why Are Black Women 40 Percent More Likely To Die From Breast Cancer Than White Women?


Black Women Breast Cancer — 70% of white women live 5 years after being diagnosed with breast cancer, but just 56% for Black women.

‘Men’s Rights’ Groups Spam Oxy with Fake Rape Reports


Tara Culp-Ressler: Occidental College has been flooded with over 400 false rape reports this week as internet trolls have attempted to prove a point about the school’s anonymous reporting system.

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