Our Bodies, Our Blog

Obama Selects Alabama Physician Regina Benjamin for Surgeon General

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

As if Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing wasn’t enough news for one day, President Obama on Monday announced the nomination of Dr. Regina Benjamin — a family doctor who runs a rural clinic in Alabama where close to half of the patients are uninsured — for surgeon general.

It seems like an inspired choice. Here’s some background, from the Chicago Tribune:

Benjamin in 1995 became the first black woman and the youngest doctor elected to serve on the board of the … Read

Political Diagnosis: Global Gag Rule; Update on Conscience Clause; New Violence Against Women Advisor; The Last Word on Sarah Palin? …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Supreme Court Decisions and You: The National Women’s Law Center has released an analysis of 2008-2009 Supreme Court decisions that have a direct effect on women’s lives. Read discussion at the NWLC blog, Womenstake:

In Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Committee, the Supreme Court safeguarded women’s and girls’ rights by allowing them to pursue remedies for gender discrimination in schools under both Title IX and the Constitution. In Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee, the Court ruled that employees are … Read

What You Need to Know for Judge Sotomayor’s Senate Confirmation Hearing

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing begins today at 10 a.m. (EST). C-SPAN will have live television coverage. Streaming video will be available at newshour.pbs.org.

Viewers and listeners can expect statements today from each of the Senate Judiciary Committee members and possibly Sotomayor’s opening statement.

For a look at some of the issues sure to arise, head over to SCOTUSblog, where Kristina Moore provides a detailed look at Sotomayor’s judicial record, neatly organized by subject matter.

The AP reports on the mock hearings Sotomayor has … Read

Political Diagnosis, Part II: Reduce Healthcare Costs, Support Midwives; Healthcare Reform Should Leave Out Moral Values; Funding Long-Term Care …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

A continuation of the latest in health reform politics and discussions

Speaking of reducing bureaucratic interference, Lois Uttley of Merger Watch wrote the definitive get-your-act-together letter to Congress warning against drafting healthcare legislation that shortchanges women.

Referring to numerous Senate amendments, such as no funding for abortion, that “would deny health care to women, gays and lesbians, people with HIV and anybody else conservatives don’t like,” Uttley offers the following advice:

Apparently, you conservative Republicans have forgotten the advice GOP … Read

Political Diagnosis: Legislation by August Looks Like a Longshot; The Democrat/Republican (and Democrat/Democrat) Divide; Public Insurance Plan is Not Single Payer, Repeat …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

This Week’s Super Fun Health Reform Graphic: This Washington Post graphic looks at the potential upsides and downsides of the various proposals under consideration and attempts to answer bottom-line questions, such as:  Will you get the care you need? Can you avoid financial ruin?


Got Time?: It’s unlikely Congress will agree on healthcare legislation before the August recess, Democrats and Republicans said on Sunday morning talk shows — especially as attention turns this week to the confirmation hearing for Judge Sonia Sotomayor (read … Read

Award-Winning Videos About Pregnancy and Childbirth

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Birth Matters Virginia has announced the winners of a video contest created to educate women about their choices and options during pregnancy and childbirth: First prize — “Prevent Cesarean Surgery,” by Ragan Cohen (California); second prize — “The Nature of Natural Birth,” by Laura Alvarez (Wisconsin); and honorable mention — “MisConception, by Becky Carey (Virginia).

Nearly 40 videos were submitted and and judged by a panel that included mothers from varied backgrounds as well as Sarah Buckley, a … Read

The American Prospect Interviews Judy Norsigian on Healthcare Reform

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Dana Goldstein of The American Prospect interviewed Myhags Executive Director Judy Norsigian about My’s support of a single-payer health plan.

Though there’s little momentum in Congress around a single-payer plan, Norsigian argues that health reform won’t be sustainable unless costs are controlled, and single payer does read than any other proposal in reigning in administration costs.

Myhags published a position paper last month outlining the numerous ways a single-payer proposal would benefit … Read

ACOG Issues New Practice Bulletin on Continuous Electronic Fetal Monitoring

By Rachel Walden |

This is going to be a long one, readers, so sit tight!

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has issued a new practice bulletin on continuous electronic fetal monitoring in labor. Given how thoroughly this practice has been embraced by obstetricians – it was used in read than 85% of births in 2002, up from 45% in 1980 – some readers may be surprised by the bulletin’s strong statements about potential harms of and lack of evidence supporting its use.

Continuous electronic fetal monitoring (cEFM) … Read

One Easy Way to Be Beautiful (Just the Way You Are)

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Picture this: You walk up to a magazine rack at your favorite bookstore and you’re confronted with numerous self-improvement suggestions: “10 Easy Ways to Lose Weight” … “Exercises to Get a Bikini Body” … “Fashion Tips to Look Read Like [Someone Else] … OK, you’ve been here before. You know exactly what this looks like.

Now imagine that instead of walking away frustrated, you reach into your Super Activist Bag and pull out a new, empowering cover — it rereads: “BEAUTIFUL just the way you are.”

You … Read

Female Condom to be Reintroduced in Uganda, United States

By Rachel Walden |

We’ve written about the female condom – including the recently approved FC2 – several times in the past. Serra Sippel of the Center for Health and Gender Equity has an update on this topic at RH Reality Check, noting that Uganda is working on plans to reintroduce female condoms, with that nation’s government planning to promote the device beginning this fall.

Sippel explains that the Center for Health and Gender Equity and the Global Campaign for Microbicides recently met with:

…local leaders … Read