Our Bodies, Our Blog

Help Spread the Word About C-Section Rates and Transparency in Maternity Care

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Did you know that a woman giving birth in New Jersey has a 73 percent greater chance of having a cesarean section than a woman in Utah? Or that two hospitals in the same city may have c-section rates that vary widely?

Complications during pregnancy or birth are not always the determining factor for undergoing a c-section. Much depends on the hospital’s existing c-section rate — but it’s not easy to obtain the data. Currently, New York and Massachusetts are the only states required to release … Read

Back Up Birth Control Day

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Today marks the eighth annual , sponsored by the . It’s a day to raise awareness about the safety and availability of emergency contraception.

Sometimes referred to as the “morning-after pill,” EC is a higher dosage of the same hormones found in many birth control pills. Taken within 120 hours after sex, they are safe and effective for preventing pregnancy.

Coincidentally, EC has been a top news story this week due to … Read

Quick Hit: Controversies in Childbirth Conference This Week

By Rachel Walden |

This week, Ft. Worth, TX will be home to the , described as “a national forum for discussing the challenges and solutions for patients, providers, and payers involved in childbirth.”

for the conference are expected include debate on whether low c-section rates are beneficial, financial concerns for health care providers and facilities, whether “natural birth advocates hurt their own cause,” techniques for vaginal breach births, “centering pregnancy” methods, home birth, transparency, whether non-emergency c-sections are contributing to … Read

Webcast on Health Care in Communities of Color

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

On Wednesday, March 25, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (EST), the Kaiser Family Foundation will hold a live, interactive webcast to examine the economic downturn’s impact on health care in communities of color.

The discussion, part of its “Today’s Topics In Health Disparities” series, will be moderated by Cara James, KFF senior policy analyst on race, ethnicity and health care. The panelists are:

* JudyAnn Bigby, MD, secretary of health and human services, Massachusetts

* Adrienne Hahn, senior attorney and program manager, Consumers Union

* William Spriggs, … Read

Judge Tells FDA to Make Plan B Available Over-the-Counter to 17 Year Olds, and to Consider Removing All Restrictions

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Good news, via :

A federal judge ordered the Food and Drug Administration on Monday to make the Plan B morning-after birth control pill available without prescription to women as young as 17.

The judge ruled that the agency had improperly bowed to political pressure from the Bush administration in 2006 when it set 18 as the age limit.

The agency has 30 days to comply with the order, in which the judge also urged the agency to consider removing all restrictions on … Read

Public Input Sought on Priorities for Comparative Effectiveness Research

By Rachel Walden |

As part of the money for comparative effectiveness research included in the stimulus bill, the is required to submit a consensus report by the end of June that provides specific recommendations to Congress and the Secretary for prioritizing the expenditure of the funds. They are also required to solicit public input on these research priorities, and so have created to gather feedback from “all stakeholders in health care (e.g., patients, consumers, providers, state and federal … Read

Double Dose: Economy Affects Family Planning; Health Care System Failing Immigrants; SEIU and CNA Agree to Work Together on Unionizing; Common Ground on Abortion Is Closer Than You Think …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Economy Puts Focus on Family Planning: Women’s health centers are seeing an uptick in the number of patients seeking family planning services and health care, and the increase is tied to the economy, reports NPR’s “.”

Providers say the increased cost of contraceptives is part of the problem leading to unplanned pregnancies. Women pay up to $60 for a single month’s supply of birth control pills. As a result, many can’t afford them. Transportation is also an issue, especially in rural areas, … Read

Political Diagnosis: The New Sisterhood in Washington; Lawmakers Get REAL on Sex Education; Panel to Advise on Comparative Effectiveness Research …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The New Sisterhood: Krissah Thompson of the writes about the ascent of black women in the new Obama administration: “The ‘Obama women’ — as African American women who’ve taken big jobs in his administration have been nicknamed — mark another step in the long journey of black women from outsiders to gatekeepers in political Washington. They have quietly entered their jobs with little attention paid to the fact that they are the largest contingent of high-ranking black women to work for … Read

Wanted: Physicians to Sign Letter Supporting Birth Centers

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Know a consultant/collaborating physician for a freestanding birth center or midwife practice? Then ask that physician to sign this letter to Congress showing support for federal legislation that would restore Medicaid funding to birth centers.

The American Association of Birth Centers, which has been lobbying on this issue (read our ), is seeking at least 100 physician signatures by March 31. They’re well on their way, but we’d like to help push them over.

Here’s how to sign on:

1. Email the letter to … Read