Our Bodies, Our Blog

Breast Implants and Possible Risk of Rare Cancer

By Rachel Walden |

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released information describing “a possible association between breast implants and the development of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

The FDA reviewed literature and related information from 1997-2010 and identified 34 unique cases of ALCL in women with either saline or silicone breast implants. This is a relatively small number, and the agency indicates that read data is needed to better understand any possible link between implants and the … Read

Leapfrog Group Releases Data on Early Elective Births

By Rachel Walden |

The Leapfrog Group, an employer-oriented organization that examines the safety and quality of U.S. hospitals and releases an annual “top hospitals” list, today released data on rates of early elective cesarean sections and inductions performed without a medical indication in U.S. hospitals.

As Leapfrog’s media advisory notes, ACOG and other organizations recommend against elective induction or cesarean prior to 39 weeks in order to minimize possible complications for women and their babies. Hospital accrediting organization the Joint Commission has also started paying … Read

Surgeon General Releases Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding

By Rachel Walden |

Last week, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin issued “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding ” [PDF]. The report describes barriers to and rates of breastfeeding in the United States and the health, economic, psychosocial and environmental benefits of breastfeeding.  The report is a call to action for all people to take steps to make the choice to breastfeed easier for mothers.

Rather than simply exhorting women to breastfeed, the report calls for educating fathers and grandmothers about breastfeeding; strengthening … Read

Upcoming Event: EQUAL/My House Party in Palo Alto

By Rachel Walden |

My supporters in the Palo Alto, Calif., area are invited to attend a house party on Sunday, Jan. 30, from 3-5 p.m.

The house party will benefit both Myhags and the EQUAL Health Network. Our own Judy Norsigian will be on hand, as well EQUAL co-director Ellen Shaffer. The invitation promises a brief talk about the organizations’ current work, dim sum and chocolate, and a good time!

RSVP: [email protected] [address of the party will be provided upon response]

Do You Trust Women to Make Their Own Choices About Reproductive Healthcare?

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The majority of sexually active adolescents and adults in the United States use birth control and are in favor of women being able to make their own reproductive health decisions. Despite this support, opponents of family planning and women’s rights have tried to assert themselves as the true moral voice — and have made political gains that severely threaten women’s health.

This year, as women’s health advocates celebrate the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Jan. 22, the Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust … Read

Upcoming Conference: The Body and the State

By Rachel Walden |

The New School for Social Research’s Center for Public Scholarship is holding a conference titled, “The Body and the State: How the State Controls and Protects the Body.” From promotional materials for the event:

Join over 35 distinguished experts in discussing the body as an international human rights arena in which many forces, such as religion, science, media, and the market struggle for control over policies that control our bodies. We hope to illuminate how the often tacit assumptions about the “normal,” “healthy,” and … Read

Quick Hit: New Guttmacher Report Details U.S. Abortion Trends, Availability

By Rachel Walden |

This week, the Guttmacher Institute released a new report, “Abortion Incidence and Services in the United States, 2008,” [PDF] which details rates of abortion around the country, the number of abortion providers, percentages of counties in each state with no providers (87% for the national overall), types of locations (clinic, hospital, or physician offices) where abortions are being performed, cost, accessibility, the number of providers offering medication abortions, and other data.

I haven’t read the entire report yet, but from a quick review it … Read

Legislation Watch 2011 – What’s Going on in Your State?

By Rachel Walden |

Not surprisingly, bills to roll back reproductive rights and defund related services are already being introduced in the now-read-Republican House of Representative and in state congresses. Via the Women’s Health Policy Alert, we learned that U.S. Representative Mike Pence has introduced the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act” (HR 217) to “to prohibit family planning grants from being awarded to any entity that performs abortions.”

In other words, clinics such as those run by Planned Parenthood (Pence’s stated target) … Read

Call for Papers on Collaborative Practice in Maternity Care

By Rachel Walden |

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Nurse-Midwives have put out a call for papers for an upcoming issue of ACOG’s journal, Obstetrics & Gynecology. The call asks for contributions “describing successful and sustainable models of collaborative practice involving obstetrician-gynecologists and certified nurse-midwives/certified midwives.”

The call explains:

The impending maternity care workforce crisis necessitates focusing on best practices across the US; therefore, preference will be given to papers about successful collaborative practice and outcomes. Discussions of how physician and midwife collaborative practice … Read

The New Year in Health Care Reform: Good News and Bad for Older Americans

By Rachel Walden |

The new, read Republican Congress is now in session, and we’re already seeing talk of repealing last year’s health care reform legislation. For now, older Americans can benefit from some of last year’s changes that are now becoming active, including:

  • The effect of the “doughnut hole” in Medicare Part D coverage should be reduced through a 50% discount on brand-name prescription drugs in the coverage gap. Senate Democrats are focusing on this benefit as one that should not be repealed by the … Read