Our Bodies, Our Blog

Breast Implants Should Require Informed Consent

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Over at the Huffington Post, Marcia Yerman examines arguments surrounding the safety of breast implants, as presented in the documentary film “Absolutely Safe” — and efforts underway to require doctors to provide accurate information about breast implants.

Myhags has teamed up with “Absolutely Safe” director Carol Ciancutti and the film company Amaranth Productions to advocate for legislation that will require plastic surgeons to provide prospective patients with a  booklet outlining the risks, complications and unknowns, … Read

Maternal Mortality Reduction as an International Human Right

By Rachel Walden |

Maternal mortality and morbidity is a large problem worldwide, and one we’ve written about here in various contexts in the past. According to the World Health Organization, 1,500 women die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications every day, mostly in developing countries, and most of these deaths are avoidable.

In an attempt to focus international attention on this problem, The United Nations Human Rights Council included in its recent session a resolution on maternal mortality and morbidity.  According to the agency’s press release the resolution … Read

Incorporating Oral Health into Prenatal Care

By Rachel Walden |

When you think of prenatal care, you might think of things like ultrasounds, nutrition, dealing with chronic conditions, and other checking and rechecking of vital signs and changes throughout a pregnancy. I recently read, however, about a program in rural Kentucky that incorporates dental care into a CenteringPregnancy approach to prenatal care.

The CenteringPregnancy model of prenatal care typically involves participants with similar due dates, who meet in group sessions for physical examination, education, and group discussion and support on pregnancy and childbirth.

In a … Read

Political Diagnosis: The Latest on Health Reform Legislation in the House and Senate; Awaiting News From the White House Council on Women & Girls; The FDA’s Full Plate …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

This Week’s Super Fun Health Reform Graphic: The award goes to The New York Times for the multi-tab Key Challenges in the Healthcare Debate. Below is the view from the section on “Getting Through Congress.”



Cuts to Medicare Drug Costs: The AARP has endorsed an offer by drug manufacturers to discount the price of some Medicare prescriptions by $80 billion over the next decade. The announcement was made today at the White House; a transcript of President Obama’s remarks is available Read

Webinar Alert: What Women Need to Know About Social Security

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

On Tuesday, June 23 (tomorrow!), the National Women’s Law Center is sponsoring a webinar, “Planning for the Future: What Women Need to Know About Social Security.” It’s scheduled to start at 1 p.m. EST. It’s free, but registration is required.

Here’s the write-up:

As women think about retirement, they may take stock of their savings and realize they don’t have enough saved ─ and they don’t know what to do with the savings they do have. They may not know what benefits they … Read

Report: Racial and Ethnic Disparities Among Women at the State Level

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Kaiser Family Foundation has released an important package of resources that shines a spotlight on health disparities between white women and women of color in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.,

The report, “Putting Women’s Health Care Disparities On The Map: Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities at the State Level,” takes into account 25 indicators, including rates of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, AIDS and cancer, and access to health insurance and health screenings.

The states with the largest rate of disparities were … Read

On the Ground: A Report from the National Network of Abortion Funds Organizing Summit

By Wendy |

It started with a bomb threat.

We were at the National Network of Abortion Funds Organizing Summit, held at a Chicago hotel last weekend. The Network consists of grassroots groups who raise money to directly help women and girls with the cost of abortion, and ever year it bring members together for training and meetings. This was my eighth year attending, and I was looking forward to the first night’s social hour, a time to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. It’s … Read

The Role of Medical Education in Preserving Abortion Access

By Rachel Walden |

A recent piece at Salon by Kate Harding (also of Shapely Prose) asks, Is there a next generation of abortion providers? Harding explains that while fear of violence and growing up after Roe may play a role in medical students’ decisions not to learn to perform abortions, “another factor keeping young doctors away from providing abortions is lack of comprehensive family planning training in medical schools.”

Harding points out that “fewer than 50 institutions in the U.S., out of 130 accredited medical … Read

Why Women Choose Home Birth

By Rachel Walden |

A recent issue of the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health includes a study conducted by midwife Debora Boucher and others to understand why some U.S. women choose home birth. The authors conducted an online survey of these women (found through online ads and home birth providers), asking questions about demographic data as well as their reasons for choosing home birth.

One hundred and sixty responses were analyzed. The majority of the women who responded were white, married, and college-educated, with a mean age of 35.  … Read

Juno’s Alternative Reality: MTV’s “16 & Pregnant”

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

MTV’s new documentary series “16 & Pregnant” makes its debut Thursday, June 18, at 10 p.m. (EST).  The episodes are also available online.

I watched some of episode one; Maci, the mom shown here with her boyfriend, Ryan, and their son, Bentley, is amazing. She basically gives up everything to take on this new responsibility, with little help from Ryan. I was a bit surprised, though, to read her update describing her life now in far read upbeat terms. I’m thrilled … Read