Our Bodies, Our Blog

Double Dose: Fat is Not a Death Sentence; Google AdWords Prohibits Abortion Ads; Survey: Sex After Kids; What Would Buffy Do?

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Excess Pounds, Longer Life?: It wasn’t so long ago that we heard calorie restriction was linked to longevity. Now it seems the scales have shifted: A new report, published online in the journal Obesity, found that people who are moderately overweight live longer.

“[W]hy is it so hard to believe, even in the face of such evidence, that being fat’s not exactly a death sentence?” asks Washington Post columnist Jennifer LaRue Huget.

On another note, looking at the journal’s website, I … Read

“Abortion Providers Under Siege”: Thank PBS for Honest, Important Coverage

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Last month, NOW on PBS aired “Abortion Providers Under Seige,” a look at how the murder of Dr. George Tiller is affecting other abortion providers and whether violence against doctors who perform abortions should be prosecuted as domestic terrorism.

It was a straightforward, highly praised report — which means that PBS came under siege from right-wing groups. These groups tend to object — quite loudly — to factual coverage that raises important questions about their activities.

In response to the right-wing outcry, … Read

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Resigns

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Video is below; here’s the transcript (is the governor’s executive column an early draft?).

The big question: Why?

Both Republicans and Democrats are mystified. There is speculation of scandal, amid other theories, though admirers like William Kristol and Mary Matalin are exceedingly optimistic that this surprise move will pay off for Palin. It’s difficult to believe, however, that someone with serious presidential hopes chose (or was counseled) to deliver a rambling resignation speech on the … Read

Trading Women’s Health for Votes: Legislators Call for Excluding Abortion Services from Government Health Plan

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Nineteen House members sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stating that they will not vote for health care reform legislation “unless it explicitly excludes abortion funding from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan.”

Right-o. Because nothing says “crafting broad support” than cutting off health services to half of the population.

The letter continues:

We believe that a government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan, should not be used to fund abortion.

Furtherread, we want to ensure that the Health Benefits Advisory Committee … Read

List of Comparative Effectiveness Research Priorities Released

By Rachel Walden |

We’ve mentioned in previous posts that comparative effectiveness research (research that directly compares the effectiveness of different treatments for the same illness) received funding in the stimulus bill, and that the Institute of Medicine was gathering public input in order to inform a report providing specific recommendations to Congress for prioritizing the expenditure of the funds. On Tuesday, the IOM released that report, “Initial National Priorities for Comparative Effectiveness Research“, which includes a list of 100 top topics (out … Read

Political Diagnosis: Roadblocks and Lines (Not) Drawn in the Sand – the Week in Health Reform

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

This Week’s Super Fun Health Reform Graphic: The Kaiser Family Foundation’s side-by-side comparison of healthcare reform proposals now includes details about the House Tri-Committee proposal (discussed here last week). Check it —

We also direct your attention to the Center for Policy Analysis, a resource for information on progressive health reform. The real treasure is its EQUAL Health listserv (Equitable, Quality, Universal, Affordable Health). Sign up and take part in conversations about women’s health, national health reform and how to … Read

Two Hospitals to Address Access to Care for Patients with Disabilities

By Rachel Walden |

Despite ADA regulations regarding accessibility of public buildings, people with disabilities often face barriers to accessing healthcare that are not addressed by the law, including a lack of appropriate staff training and accessible equipment. A report in Friday’s Boston Globe indicates that two nationally known, Harvard-affiliated area hospitals – Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital – will be spending millions of dollars over the next several years to make their services read accessible to people with disabilities.

Disability activists worked with Greater … Read

Double Dose: Pregnancy, Prison and HIV

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Woman Shackled During Labor Sues State: A former inmate at the Washington Corrections Center for Women who was shackled while in labor is suing the state of Washington for violating her constitutional rights. Read the full complaint here ).

The Seattle-based women’s rights organization Legal Voice filed the federal lawsuit last week on behalf of Casandra Brawley. According to the complaint, Brawley, who was serving a 14-month sentence for shoplifting, was shackled by a metal chain around her belly during … Read

Upcoming Blog Carnival on Women & Caregiving

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Fem 2.0 is hosting a blog carnival on caregiving. Here’s the notice we received via email with encouragement to share:

Women take care of children, spouses, parents, family members, friends. We dominate the caregiving professions, like nursing or social work. Ask anyone receiving care of any kind and he or she will most likely tell you that the primary caregiver is a woman.

Caregiving is a huge part of women’s lives, and so often it’s a job for which we usually don’t get or expect … Read

Norsigian and Rooks on Evidence-Based Labor and Delivery

By Rachel Walden |

In November 2008, The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology published a review, Evidence-based labor and delivery management, that looked at the quality of the evidence used to support labor and birth practices. In response to the review, nurse-midwife and epidemiologist Judith Rooks and My Executive Director Judy Norsigian wrote a letter to the editor that was published in the May 22, 2009 issue of AJOG.

In it, Norsigian and Rooks note that while the … Read