Our Bodies, Our Blog

Want to Reduce Unintended Pregnancies? Provide Health Education & Support

By Rachel Walden |

Almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. These pregnancies can result in worse health outcomes for both women and their babies, due to potentially poor health prior to pregnancy and delays in obtaining prenatal care and making changes such as quitting smoking.

For a new, small study published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, researchers spoke to … Read

How Do You Afford Healthcare in Prison on 50 Cents Per Hour?

By Rachel Walden |

Women entering prisons often have poor physical health, in part due to poverty and lack of access to treatment for concerns such as addiction, abuse and mental health. An article in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved looks at a different aspect of the health of incarcerated women: how healthcare systems in prison create further harm.

For “Factors Contributing to Poor Physical Health in Incarcerated Women,” researchers Holly Harner and Suzanne Riley conducted 12 focus groups … Read

Studies Show How Abortion Restrictions Hurt Women; New Investigative Report Shows Why Read Restrictions Are Medically Unnecessary

By Rachel Walden |

We recently wrote about the Turnaway Study, a research project that involved following women who were denied an abortion because they were past the provider’s gestational age limit and comparing their outcomes to women who received an abortion (either during the first trimester or at near-limit, when the women were almost out of time). Women were recruited for the study from “last stop” abortion clinics — … Read

Breast Cancer, Mastectomy and Breast Implants: A 20-Year History of Images and Attitudes

By Rachel Walden |

CBS Sunday Morning this week aired a segment looking at breast cancer and body image, especially women’s choices around reconstructive surgery and implants.

Artist and former fashion model Matuschka, whose self-portrait on The New York Times Magazine cover 20 years ago (Aug. 15, 1993) created a shock because it displayed her mastectomy scar where her right breast had been removed, describes her reasons for creating the image — wanting to start a conversation about breast … Read

A Guide to Cervical Cancer Screening & HPV Vaccines

By Rachel Walden |

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “nearly all sexually-active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.”

But the virus usually clears on its own, without causing any damage — and often without showing any symptoms.

The HPV vaccine can prevent infection, … Read

How Many Abortion Complications Are Caused by Stigma, Secrecy and Silence?

By Rachel Walden |

Although close to one-third of all U.S. women will have an abortion by age 45, there is often little discussion of the topic because of the stigma involved.

In a commentary published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, Dr. Lisa H. Harris describes the cases of two women who had access to safe, legal abortion but who completed their abortions in unsafe conditions because “each woman needed her … Read

Taking the Stigmatization of Abortion Providers to a New Level

By Guest Contributor |

by Carole Joffe

No school district, employee or agent thereof, or educational service provider contracting with such school district shall provide abortion services. No school district shall permit any person or entity to offer, sponsor or otherwise furnish in any manner any course materials or instruction relating to human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases if such person or entity is an abortion services provider, or an employee, agent or volunteer of an abortion services provider.

The above provision is contained in a Read

Got Health Insurance? New Site Explains Options, Provides Resources for Women

By Rachel Walden |

Raising Women’s Voices (RWV) launched a new website on Monday that aims to help the 19 million uninsured women in the United States learn read about and apply for health coverage available through the new health insurance marketplaces, or “exchanges.”

Enrollment for these exchanges, created as part of the Affordable Care Act, begins Oct. 1.

The RWV site offers detailed information on who’s eligible, how to choose … Read

Racism, Mistrust in Medical System May Affect Black Women’s Use of Genetic Testing for Breast and Ovarian Cancers

By Rachel Walden |

Black women in the United States face many health disparities. The CDC recently provided data showing the average life expectancy for black women (at birth in 2010) is 78 — 3.3 years shorter than that for white women.

One of the many diseases for which there are unequal outcomes is breast cancer. Black women are less likely than white women to develop breast cancer, but are Read