Our Bodies, Our Blog

Prosecuting Pregnant Women

By Rachel Walden |

This year, you may have seen news on the case of Jennie Linn McCormack, an Idaho woman who was arrested for obtaining RU-486 from the internet and inducing her own abortion, apparently a felony under Idaho law even though abortion and RU-486 themselves are legal. Jennie was reported to police by a friend she confided in about her experience.

And then there’s the case of Bei Bei Shuai, who ingested rat poison in an attempt to commit suicide. This was believed to lead to … Read

HIV and Black Women

By Rachel Walden |

PBS’s FRONTLINE recently aired “ENDGAME: AIDS in Black America,” which looks at disproportionate rates of HIV infection among Black Americans and related factors, addressing, among other issues, poverty, needle reuse and exchanges, policies that have harmed public health, churches and stigma.

In a related interview for NPR’s Fresh Air, “Endgame” director Renata Simone talks about delays in diagnosing women with AIDS, and how those delays affect women both physically and economically:

So the fact that we were not diagnosing women as having full blown AIDS … Read

Editorial on Race and Reproductive Health by Carole Joffe and Willie Parker

By Rachel Walden |

An important and nuanced editorial on U.S. reproductive politics takes issue with “the cynical manipulation of racial themes” by activists who distort the history of reproductive politics to bolster support for restricting access to abortion and birth control.

Writing in the July issue of the journal “Contraception,” Willie J. Parker, a physician who serves on the board of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, and Carole Joffe, a sociologist and professor at UCSF Bixby Center’s Advancing … Read

Guttmacher Releases New Report on 2012 State Abortion, Family Planning and Sex Ed Legislation

By Rachel Walden |

The Guttmacher Institute yesterday released a new report detailing the number of new provisions states have enacted this year related to reproductive health and rights.

In the first half of 2012, states enacted 39 new restrictions on access to abortion. Guttmacher notes:

Although this is significantly lower than the record-breaking 80 restrictions that had been enacted by this point in 2011, it is nonetheless a higher number of restrictions than in any year prior to 2011. Most of the 39 … Read

Reactions to the Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act Decision

By Rachel Walden |

Last Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled to largely uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or health care reform. The Act should help women access a number of preventive services and help them access healthcare read easily.

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health issued a press release, Supreme Court decision means health care access for Latinas, calling the decision “a significant victory for Latinas, who are read likely than other groups to face structural barriers that prevent … Read

How I Talk About Sex With My Kids

By My |

By Annie Brewster

My 13-year-old daughter is now in the throes of seventh grade Sex-Ed. Yesterday, while lingering at the table after dinner, just the two of us left, she asked: “Rubbing the clitoris is what makes sex feel good, right?”

I swallowed hard, hesitated for half a second, and then said “Yes. That’s a big part of it.” And the door was open for further discussion. What are the other ingredients of sex that “feel good”?

We have always talked openly about sex and the human body. … Read

“Our Bodies, Ourselves” Part of Library of Congress’s “Books that Shaped America” Exhibit

By Rachel Walden |

The original edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” has been named one of the Library of Congress’s “Books that Shaped America,” a list of important works “intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives.”

As the LoC press release describes:

In the early 1970s a dozen Boston feminists collaborated in this groundbreaking publication that presented accurate information on women’s health and sexuality based on their own experiences. Advocating improved doctor-patient communication and shared decision-making, “Our Bodies, … Read

Our Bodies, Our Votes: Fight Back Against Lawmakers Restricting Women’s Access to Reproductive Health Care

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

As My readers are all too aware, politicians have consistently prioritized their own agendas over women’s health — and never read so than in the past couple of years. With lawmakers stepping up efforts to impose severe restrictions on contraception and the full range of reproductive health services, a woman’s access to basic health care in the United States is not guaranteed.

Myhags is responding … Read

Doctor Speaks Out Against Abortion Laws That Require Lying to Patients

By Rachel Walden |

In a recent letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, Playing Politics with the Doctor–Patient Relationship, physician and abortion provider Deborah Oyer describes how laws restricting abortion access threaten the relationship between doctors and patients.

Oyer writes specifically about Arizona’s House Bill 1359, which states that doctors can’t be held liable if they lie to women about the health of the fetus. In other words, if a doctor discovers that something may be wrong with the fetus and thinks this information … Read

Hormonal Contraception and Heart Risks

By Rachel Walden |

Hormonal birth control (like the Pill), especially modern lower dose medicines, are generally safe for most women. Like all medicines, though, there is the potential for adverse effects for some users. The potential for cardiovascular effects from using hormonal contraceptives has been known for some time; women who smoke cigarettes or who have severe high blood pressure are advised not to take the Pill, and hypertension, heart attack, and blood clots are rare but possible serious side effects.

As a new study in the … Read