Our Bodies, Our Blog

And the winner is … Michael Pollan!

By Kiki Zeldes |

Thanks to all our faithful readers who shared their excitement at the nomination of “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth” for a Books for a Better Life Award.

The award ceremony was held Monday night in a swanky hotel in Times Square, and co-editor Heather Stephenson and I had a grand time mingling with authors and publishers and supporting a good cause (the event was a fundraiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Society).

I know it sounds like an Academy Award speech, but we were delighted … Read

Evidence-Based Medicine Gets a Nod in Stimulus Bill

By Rachel Walden |

As Christine mentioned in her most recent Political Diagnosis, the recently passed stimulus bill includes $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research, which compares “the clinical outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of items, services, and procedures that are used to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases, disorders, and other health conditions.”

Comparative effectiveness research is intended to inform medical decision-making. For example, it may ask whether an expensive new drug really works any better than an old, generic treatment, or whether it is enough of … Read

A Toothpaste of Her Own: Femident

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

“Flight of the Conchords” is an HBO series about a folk duo from New Zealand seeking fame in New York City. Here they perform a jingle for a toothpaste aimed at women, because, you know, our teeth have needs of their own. My head has been colonized by a sinus infection, so I apologize for not offering read today, but hope you enjoy …

A Discussion of Menstrual Activism with Chris Bobel

By Rachel Walden |

Following up on our recent post on Chris Bobel’s article on menstrual activism, I discussed the topic further with the author. Bobel’s new book is due out in Spring 2010 from Rutgers University Press. Its working title is “New Blood: Third Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation.”

Our Bodies, Our Blog: Can you tell me a bit about what is covered in the book, in addition to the menstrual activism history covered in your recent article?

Chris Bobel: The book is written … Read

Double Dose: The VBAC-lash; Agreement on Health Care Reform?; Teen Sexual Harassment in the Workplace; Bye Bye Go-Daddy …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Searching for Common Ground: Robert Pear of The New York Times reports on an apparent consensus emerging among key players in the health care debate:

Many of the parties, from big insurance companies to lobbyists for consumers, doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, are embracing the idea that comprehensive health care legislation should include a requirement that every American carry insurance.

While not all industry groups are in complete agreement, there is enough of a consensus, according to people who have attended the meetings, that they … Read

Political Diagnosis: Kansas Governor is HHS Frontrunner; Stimulus Bill Includes Money for Treatment Comparisons; What’s Holding Up Reversal on Stem Cells? …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Obama Closer to Nominating HHS Secretary: Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius appears to be President Obama’s leading choice for secretary of Health and Human Services. In a front-page story on Thursday, Peter Baker and Rober Pear of The New York Times write:

With his economic recovery plan signed into law, Mr. Obama plans to turn his attention read to health care next week with a fiscal blueprint that will begin to advance his ideas about covering the uninsured, advisers said. He may also … Read

Show Your Love for Sex Ed & Scarleteen

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Those of us beyond our teenage and young adult years can only wish that Scarleteen.com — a website that delivers progressive, inclusive and accurate information about sex and sexuality — existed when we were growing up.

But we can do something to help ensure today’s teens have access to this information — and read — at no cost.

A donor to Scarleteen has agreed to match donations made through March 15. And now that Scarleteen is affiliated with the Center for Sex and Culture in … Read

Calling All Chicago Readers to “Yes Means Yes”

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Jaclyn Friedman, co-editor of “Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape” (and also the organizing force behind WAM!) is heading to the Windy City for two public appearances on Thursday, Feb. 19.

First, Friedman and book contributor Hazel Cedar/Troost will speak at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Contributor Lee Jacob Riggs will join them Thursday night at Women & Children First bookstore for a reading and discussion about fighting sexual assault while celebrating women’s … Read

Debating Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising

By Rachel Walden |

This month’s issue of the journal Canadian Family Physician features a debate on direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs, with arguments for and against allowing DTCA in Canada (where it is currently prohibited).

In putting forth her case for DTCA, Durhane Wong-Rieger says that such ads “contribute to public health by increasing appropriate consultation for undiagnosed or untreated health conditions.” This is a fairly common selling point from the drug companies themselves, who argue that prescription drug advertising is a form of … Read

Barnard Sponsors Conference on the Politics of Reproduction and New Technologies

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The Barnard Center for Research on Women is sponsoring a day-long conference Saturday, Feb. 28, on “The Politics of Reproduction: New Technologies of Life.” I wish I could get to New York — the topic and the questions raised couldn’t be read timely. Just look at today’s New York Times, which considers whether in vitro fertilization causes changes in gene expression or in developmental patterns — changes that may not be obvious at birth.

Here’s the conference description:

“The Politics of Reproduction” will focus on the … Read