Our Bodies, Our Blog

Bill Clinton Gets Riled Up About Abortion

By Rachel Walden |

At a campaign event in Steubenville, OH on Sunday, Bill Clinton was campaigning for Senator Clinton and was heckled by anti-choice students from the religious Franciscan University of Steubenville. Clinton responded thusly:

“We disagree with you. You want to criminalize women and their doctors and we disagree. I reduced abortion. Tell the truth! Tell the truth! If you were really pro-life, if you were really pro-life, you would want to put every doctor and every mother, as an accessory to murder, in prison, and you won’t … Read

Outrage Over FDA Crackdown on Biodentical Hormones? Not So Fast, says National Women’s Health Network

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The Washington Post last week reported on an ad campaign protesting the FDA’s crackdown on pharmacies that manufacture and market biodentical hormones to treat symptoms of menopause. Sandra J. Boodman writes:

Last week the HOME (Hands Off My Estrogens!) Coalition, a group based in tiny Edinburg, Va., placed a full-page ad in five newspapers, including USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, accusing regulators of being hostile to “natural” hormonal medicines made according to a doctor’s prescription by a compounding pharmacy.

The ads urge women … Read

Read Findings on Healthcare Disparities

By Rachel Walden |

Several recently published studies have noted that racial disparities persist in healthcare, and have specifically looked at the divide in cancer diagnosis and care.

As noted in today’s New York Times, a study is being published in the journal Lancet Oncology that reportedly finds that “the uninsured and those covered by Medicaid are read likely than those with private insurance to receive a diagnosis of cancer in late stages, often diminishing their chances of survival,” and that “blacks had a higher risk of late … Read

Double Dose: Finding the Fun in Big Pharma; MacGyver Meets Dr. Ruth; Sex, Lies & Stereotypes: The Truth About Sex Education; Chemical Exposure in Infants

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Who’s On Pharma?: Prescription Access Legislation presents a comedy classic updated for the pharmaceutical industry … Check it out. And there’s lots read worth reading on PAL’s blog.

MacGyver Meets Dr. Ruth: Once you get beyond the freaked-out expression on the female avatar, what follows is a very interesting article about the efforts of Dr. Carla Pugh, a surgeon at the Northwestern University medical school who builds low-cost models of breasts and other body parts out of everyday items to … Read

In Their Heads: The New York Times Hosts a Blog on Migraines

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

As someone with a standing prescription for Maxalt, I have a particular interest in migraines. But even if you’ve never reached for an Excedrin, you’ll find the writing irresistible at The New York Times’ blog, Migraine: Perspectives on a Headache.

Whether it’s Oliver Sacks’ description of geometric hallucinations, Siri Hustvedt’s discussion of acceptance, or Paula Kamen’s summary of the rabbit hole she went down in search of a cure for her chronic daily headache (which is different than … Read

Quality of Breast Cancer Information on the Web

By Rachel Walden |

We’ve posted before about the problems of identifying good health information on the web, and provided some tips for doing so. A study released by the journal Cancer this week addresses this very topic, examining websites with breast cancer information that turn up among the top results in various search engines and examining them according to a set of quality criteria.

The researchers evaluated 343 websites on various breast cancer-related topics, and found varying levels of accuracy, including 41 false or misleading statements … Read

Skinny Trumps Healthy

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Tara Parker-Pope has the skinny on “Skinny Bitch,” the hit diet book that has surprised some readers with its strict vegan coda (the Times reported on that aspect last year) and its harsh words for readers.

Parker-Pope points to this Salon story, in which Julie Klausner raises questions about the book’s castigatory language: “This book is a PETA pamphlet in chick-lit clothing and an innovative fusion of animal rights activism with punitive dieting tactics that prey on women’s insecurities about their … Read

CDC Releases Info on CMV Infection in Pregnancy, Health Effects of Domestic Violence

By Rachel Walden |

Two items in recent issues of the CDC’s freely available Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report are particularly relevant to women’s health.

The first addresses OB/GYNs’ knowledge of cytomegalovirus risks during pregnancy. According to the agency, cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common congenital infection in the United States – they estimate that 8,000 children each year suffer permanent disabilities (such as hearing and vision loss and cognitive impairment) caused by CMV.

In March of 2007, the CDC surveyed 305 selected ACOG members about their … Read

Double Dose: The Big Push for Midwives; Seasonal Affective Disorder; Same-Sex Marriage Ruling; Health Cuts Trigger Crisis in Chicago; HIV Studies Discussed at Boston Conference

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The Big Push for Midwives: Great post by Amy G. about the campaign for the regulation and licensure of certified professional midwives. Amy mentions a number of blog posts on the issue, including ours.

Metabolic Syndrome Is Tied to Diet Soda: “This is interesting,” said Lyn M. Steffen, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota and a co-author of the paper, which was posted online in the journal Circulation on Jan. 22. “Why is it happening? … Read

Bush’s 2009 Budget Request Includes Health-Related Cuts, Increased Abstinence Funding

By Rachel Walden |

Earlier this week, President Bush released his $3.1 trillion 2009 budget request, which includes freezes and decreases for the budgets of many health programs, alongside massive defense spending. The budget documents are difficult to sift through, but a few health-related proposals are worth noting.

Among the cuts and lack of increases:

  • No increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health, which funds a vast amount of medical research
  • A $412 million (~4.5%) decrease in program funding for Centers for Disease Control and … Read