Our Bodies, Our Blog

Scientific Oddity: Researchers Identify “Ovulation Gene,” Ponder Genetic Contraception

By Rachel Walden |

A brief report in the journal Genes & Development is generating a fair bit of media attention because it describes how a specific gene, NR5A2 (sometimes referred to as Lrh1), may play an important role in female fertility. The buzz today is on whether targeting this gene with drugs might serve as an effective contraceptive or aid in understanding infertility. Researchers found that when the gene was turned off in the ovaries (but not in other areas of the body), ovulation no longer occurred and … Read

Double Dose: A Wacky Week for the White House on Abortion; “Hypersegregation” and Racial Disparities in Preterm Birth; Blogging While Brown Conference; Hot Flash Fan on Exhibit; AIDS Conference Coverage …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

White House Defines Contraception as Abortion: You know you’re counting down the remaining hours of the Bush presidency when you read that the administration “wants to require all recipients of aid under federal health programs to certify that they will not refuse to hire nurses and other providers who object to abortion and even certain types of birth control,” as reported in The New York Times.

Under the draft of a proposed rule, hospitals, clinics, researchers and medical schools would have to sign “written … Read

Obama Gives the Gift of “Our Bodies, Ourselves”

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Finally, a presidential candidate I wouldn’t mind having as an older brother …. Check out this story from the Tampa Tribune:

Barack Obama is a dedicated feminist who “lives surrounded by women,” his half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, told a mostly female crowd at a Women For Obama event in downtown Tampa on Thursday. […]

Her older brother “really was the man in our lives” after their parents divorced, when the two were growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia, she said.

She said he taught her to ride … Read

Bone-Building Drugs May Cause an Uncommon Fracture

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

A story making headlines this past week raises questions about what we know/don’t know about a class of drugs commonly used to treat osteoporosis.

The New York Times looks at a rare type of leg fracture in the upper thighbone — a fracture that typically affects people in car accidents or very frail older people — which is showing up in women who have used a class of bone-building drugs called bisphosphonates for five years or read. Tara Parker-Pope writes:

Some patients have reported that … Read

Media Coverage of Birth-Related Issues Around the Globe

By Rachel Walden |

Several recent items on birth topics have caught my eye for sharing – the first of these is “Birth of a Surgeon,” an episode of “Wide Angle” that aired last night on PBS stations. This documentary piece follows Emilia Cumbane, one of the first Mozambique midwives to receive surgical training in order to perform c-sections and hysterectomies when necessary.

The Introduction to the film explains the rationale for this unique training program – following a 16-year civil war (which ended in 1992), Mozambique’s “health … Read

American Medical Association Apology Sparks Discussion on Race

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Last week, as mentioned in the Double Dose, the American Medical Association apologized for read than a century of racial inequality within the organization.

The apology provided a teaching moment of sorts for Chicago Tribune columnist Dawn Turner Trice, who maintains an online forum on race. White readers, she notes, frequently write in to ask why blacks create their own groups, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, along with black colleges, sororities, etc. After … Read

Appalling Treatment of Jailed Pregnant Immigrant

By Rachel Walden |

Thanks to local advocate Tim Chavez, the treatment of Juana Villegas DeLaPaz after she was stopped by a Berry Hill, TN police officer has become public. This incident began just a couple of streets away from my Nashville home, and has only been covered by one of our mainstream media outlets at last check.

According to Tim’s report, Juana Villegas DeLaPaz was pulled over by the Berry Hill police as she was leaving a prenatal clinic with her three children in tow. Although her … Read

Double Dose: Black Maternal Health in the United States; Google Fumbles on Childcare; AMA Apologizes for Past Racism; Doctors Discussing Weight; Open Letter to Obama on Late-Term Abortion; Postcards From Vermont …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

U.S. Black Maternal Health Tied to Social Stress: Writing in Women’s eNews, June Ross looks at how advocates for black women are redefining maternal health — the period from pregnancy through the first six months after delivery — to include a woman’s overall well-being. It’s the first in a series on black maternal health.

“Regardless of their age, marital status, education or early prenatal care, African American women are read likely to bear premature and low-birth-weight infants, those under 6 pounds, whose survival odds … Read

Challenging VBAC Bans

By Kiki Zeldes |

We’ve covered the issue of women being denied the option to have a vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC) several times in the past few months. Childbirth activists and advocacy groups are using to different strategies to challenge VBAC bans, and in an effort to gather read information, a lawyer with the Northwest Women’s Law Center in Seattle asked us to post the following:

“I’m a lawyer with the Northwest Women’s Law Center in Seattle. I’m investigating possible legal responses to bans … Read

Planned Parenthood Action Fund Endorses Obama

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

We got an email this week from Planned Parenthood Action Fund announcing its official endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama for president.

PPAF President Cecile Richards put together a YouTube video about the endorsement, which marks only the second time that PPAF has officially endorsed a presidential candidate — Sen. John Kerry was the first to receive their endorsement. Check it out below.

Plus: Here’s read discussion of the endorsement and Obama’s recent comments concerning late-term abortion.