Our Bodies, Our Blog

Law Passed to Address Support for Prenatal Diagnoses

By Rachel Walden |

Earlier this month, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act, a bill “to amend the Public Health Service Act to increase the provision of scientifically sound information and support services to patients receiving a positive test diagnosis for Down syndrome or other prenatally and postnatally diagnosed conditions.”

The act focuses on increasing knowledge and resources, articulating the following purposes:

  • increase patient referrals to providers of key support services for women who have received a positive diagnosis … Read

Double Dose: U.S. Infant Mortality Improves, Slightly; PETA’s Defense of Sexist Ads; Disability Blog Carnival; Love Your Body Reminder; Proposed Wellness Trust for Preventative Health Services

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

U.S. Infant Mortality Rate Still High: Infant deaths in the United States declined 2 percent in 2006, according to the latest government statistics, reports The New York Times, but we’re still ranked pretty darn low. Gardiner Harris writes:

Infant mortality has long been considered one of the most important indicators of the health of a nation and the quality of its medical system. In 1960, the United States ranked 12th lowest in the world, but by 2004, the latest year for which comparisons were … Read

“Health of the Mother” Deserves Read Than Air Quotes

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

While issues that greatly affect women have hardly been front and center during this presidential campaign, there was one moment during last night’s debate, when the subject turned to abortion, that Sen. John McCain kissed the votes of moderate women voters good-bye.

McCain was attacking Sen. Barack Obama for being in cahoots “with the extreme aspect of the pro-abortion movement” (the what?) because, as a member of the Illinois State Senate, Obama voted against the so-called partial-birth abortion ban.

Obama explained that he did so because there … Read

CDC Denies Intent to Force HPV Vaccination of Immigrants

By Rachel Walden |

A number of bloggers have written over the past month about a new requirement that immigrants seeking permanent legal status in the United States must receive the HPV vaccine. The requirement is troublesome for a number of reasons, including the lack of an opt-out provision (in contrast to requirements for U.S. citizens), the expense of the series, the lack of significant public health risk posed by omitting this vaccine, and the vulnerability of the affected population.

This requirement originates in the CDC’s vaccination recommendations, which become … Read

Our Food, Ourselves: Michael Pollan on the Next Farmer in Chief

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

It’s mid-October, but the warm weather here in Chicago has me thinking we’re approaching summer. My small garden thinks so, too. Lettuce, basil, kale, peppers and chives are coming up strong, undaunted by the brown, crinkly leaves falling from the trees above.

Living in the city, planting space is limited and the season is (eventually) finite; I can’t rely solely on what I grow. But along with trips to the Green City Market downtown, and smaller farmers’ markets nearby, we probably eat locally … Read

Submit Your Comment By Wednesday on Child Nutrition Programs and WIC

By Rachel Walden |

The Food & Water Watch program of Democracy in Action alerted us to a public comment period that is closing on Wednesday, October 15 and is collecting comments on the USDA’s child nutrition and WIC programs for consideration prior to the 2009 reauthorization of the programs. Democracy in Action is asking individuals to submit comments requesting that hormone-free and organic milk be among the options in the federal school breakfast and lunch program, and has an action page set up for … Read

Double Dose: Gay Marriage Legal in CT; Ad Council Introduces First Campaign on Gay/Lesbian Issues; CCR Sues Over Required Ultrasound in Oklahoma; South Dakota Abortion Ban 2.0; One-Year Update on Gardasil

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Gay Marriage Legal in California, Massachusetts and now Connecticut: The Connecticut Supreme Court on Friday struck down the state’s civil union law with a 4-3 ruling that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. From The New York Times:

The ruling, which cannot be appealed and is to take effect on Oct. 28, held that a state law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples, and a civil union law intended to provide all the rights and privileges of marriage to same-sex couples, violated the … Read

“Pro-Life” Administration Causes Abortions, Maternal Death

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

With three months left to his presidency, George W. Bush just can’t seem to stop meddling with women’s reproductive health. And when this administration meddles, the results are usually tragic.

In the latest instance, the U.S. Agency for International Development has told six African governments that they must stop giving U.S.-donated contraceptives — including condoms, birth control pills and intrauterine devices — to Marie Stopes International, a UK-based reproductive family planning organization that distributes contraceptives and operates health clinics in needy communities.

The … Read

Childbirth Connection Releases Report on Evidence-Based Maternity Care

By Rachel Walden |

Since the publication of “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth,” My has become increasingly involved in the movement to reform childbirth practices. We have become vocal in criticizing the highly medicalized births that have become the norm for most women and advocating for changes, including increased access to midwifery care and birth centers and the reversal of hospital bans on vaginal births after cesarean (VBAC).

Now a new report has been released that highlights the many shortcomings of the … Read

Ask the Experts: Presidential Advisers on Health Care Reform

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Kaiser Family Foundation is sponsoring live webcasts with advisers to presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama on the subject of the candidates’ health reform proposals. From Kaiser:

Sen. Obama has proposed a plan that builds on the existing employer-based system, while expanding public programs, putting in place new insurance regulations and providing new coverage options. Sen. McCain’s plan would replace the existing tax preference for employer-based coverage with a refundable tax credit for the purchase of private insurance, and allow people to buy health insurance … Read