Our Bodies, Our Blog

Election Round-Up – Reproductive Rights Edition

By Rachel Walden |

Good morning, readers! By now you all know that Barack Obama is our President-Elect. However, a number of specific reproductive health issues were up for a vote in this election – RH Reality Check has great coverage of the fate of anti-choice ballot initiatives in this election (links below).

  • In Many States, Voters Reject Anti-Choice Ballot Initiatives
  • Coloradans Decisively Defeat Egg-As-Person Amendment
  • Americans Embrace Pro-Education, Pro-Prevention, Pro-Choice Values in Historic Election
  • A New Pro-Choice Congress In 2009

The stand-out negative of the … Read

Your Election Day Survival Resources

By Rachel Walden |

Most of us are expecting long lines at the polling place on election day. Here are a few websites providing information that may be useful to you as you prepare to vote.

How to take kids to the voting booth on Election Day – tips from an AP writer

Election Day Resources for Voters with Disabilities – Information from the National Disability Rights Network

Election Protection – Voter rights protection

Project Vote Smart – All kinds of info on voting. Also … Read

Report Criticizes FDA for Ignoring Risks of Widely Used Chemical

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

A new report criticizes the FDA for ignoring studies questioning the safety of bisphenol A, a chemical found in many household products. From the Washington Post:

The Food and Drug Administration ignored scientific evidence and used flawed methods when it determined that a chemical widely used in baby bottles and in the lining of cans is not harmful, a scientific advisory panel has found.

In a highly critical report to be released today, the panel of scientists from government and academia said the FDA did … Read

Election Day, 2008: What It Means for Your Health

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

With less than one week to go until Election Day, we’re taking a look at some of the women’s health issues at stake. Want to add read? Leave links to blog entries or other resources in the comments.

One other note — I can’t believe some folks aren’t voting. If you know anyone who plans on sitting this one out, please urge them to consider the importance of their vote on local and state issues, in addition to what’s obviously a national turning point … Read

Policy Paper on U.S. Foreign Assistance and Women Released

By Rachel Walden |

The Center for Gender and Health Equity has released a policy paper on U.S. foreign assistance and its implications for women and reproductive rights, entitled, “Making U.S. Foreign Assistance Work: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Human Rights as Key to Global Development [PDF].”

The authors explain that “many NGOs are preparing to give input to Congress’s considerations for reforming the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act,” but that “overhauling the Foreign Assistance Act will achieve nothing unless policy makers embrace the principle of advancing human … Read

Keeping an Eye on Medical Research Ethics

By Rachel Walden |

This weekend, I read Harriet A. Washington’s “Medical Apartheid,” which documents the shocking history of abuse and unethical practices in the conduct of medical research on black Americans. While many of you may have heard of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, Washington’s work is much read comprehensive, outlining and tying together events from slavery to recent decades.

While reading this work, I wondered how we can “ask hard questions of the physicians who are recruiting in your community,” as Washington urges. It seems … Read

Double Dose: Health Insurance Shifts from Employer-Based to Individual Market; Pharmacy Refuses to Sell Birth Control, and in Virginia, That’s OK; “Free to Be You and Me” Turns 35; 2009 Sheroes; Sexy Costumes …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The New Health Insurance Model: In the first of a three-part series, the L.A. Times looks at the changing insurance scenario — where once working Americans could rely on employer-based benefits, now read people are being forced into the individual market, where coverage is costly, bare-bones and precarious.

Part two looks at the business side of managing health savings accounts, and part three covers the battle between doctors and insurers. Meanwhile, health care costs continue to rise.

Plus: Read … Read

Anna Deavere Smith’s Play and a Doctor’s Thoughts on Grace

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

It’s been years since I’ve seen playwright and actress Anna Deavere Smith perform live (her recurring role on “West Wing” was also incredibly satisfying), and I was glad to come across a story about her play “Let Me Down Easy,” which recently concluded a one-month run at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Mass.

The fact that the story appeared in the health section of The New York Times might come as a surprise, but it makes perfect sense considering … Read

We Heart Ellen DeGeneres

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Did you see Ellen weigh in on Sarah Palin and same-sex marriage? It’s one minute and 28 seconds of total goodness:

I doubt if anyone else could have touched on so many valid points in under 90 seconds — and with a truly humorous twist. Read the full transcript.

Task Force Recommends Prenatal and Postnatal Breastfeeding Support

By Rachel Walden |

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has updated its statement on breastfeeding promotion following a review of the evidence, and recommends that “health care settings use strategies that work with women and families both before and after delivery to encourage and support breastfeeding.” The previous review, published in 2003, did not address prenatal support and had found insufficient evidence for interventions such as counseling by primary care providers.

The Task Force is part of a government agency and focuses on better informing healthcare providers … Read