Our Bodies, Our Blog

Double Dose: A Reporter Writes About Her Own Rape; Are Doctors Shilling for Drug Companies on Public Radio?; NPR on Women Waiting to Have Children and the “Clash” Between Cuture and Biology; Books Challenged for Sexuality Content; and Read

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Beyond Rape – A Survivor’s Journey: Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Joanna Connors has written about being raped 24 years ago when she was on assignment for the paper.

The story is notable not only for Connors’ reach in describing how her life (and by extension her husband and children) was affected by the rape, but she also sets out to learn read about her rapist — and in doing so peels back the layers on a family trapped in a cycle … Read

Simple Innovation Saves Women’s Lives

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Around the globe, 500,000 women die every year from complications related to giving birth. The most common cause is obstetrical hemorrhage, or heavy bleeding, which can cause death in two hours or less.

Consider that in many rural areas a hospital can be hours or even days away, and the urgency of medical attention becomes clear. Given this dire situation, some health researchers are working on promoting the adoption of less-invasive, evidenced-based medical practices to prevent excess bleeding from occurring during childbirth and simple innovations that … Read

Daily Aspirin May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

An aspirin a day may reduce the risk of developing the most common type of breast cancer by 16 percent, according to the results of a large study reported on by .

by the U.S. National Cancer Institute appears in the April 30 online edition of the journal Breast Cancer Research.

Researchers found that aspirin (but not other painkillers) reduced the risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, which accounts for some 75 percent of all breast cancers.

Barbara Brenner, executive director … Read

Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2008

By Rachel Walden |

Last month, Senator Patty Murray introduced the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2008 (), “to expand and improve health care services available to women veterans, especially those serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.”

The bill calls for a long-term study of the health of women serving in Iraq, an assessment of barriers for women seeking care at Dept. of Veterans Affairs facilities and of the VA’s provision of … Read

Fat Anti-Bias Campaign

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

“In an overwhelmingly overweight nation that worships thinness, many describe prejudice against the obese as one of the last socially acceptable biases,” . “Advocates for the -sized, particularly activists in the ‘fat acceptance’ movement, want obesity to become a category legally protected against discrimination, like religion, race, age and sex. But not everyone agrees.”

“I think it would help mostly because it would send a message that fat people are equal citizens. It’s not in the litigation rates, … Read

Why Isn’t Nitrous Oxide Widely Available for Labor Pain Relief in the U.S.?

By Rachel Walden |

I was recently pointed to an editorial in the March 2007 issue of the journal Birth which asks, “Nitrous Oxide for Pain in Labor–Why Not in the United States?” You may be familiar with nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) as it is sometimes used during dental procedures, but the gas is often used in other countries as a means to control pain during labor. As the Birth editorial explains, nitrous oxide is self-administered by a woman in labor (primarily for safety reasons), allowing her to obtain a … Read

Double Dose: Bush White House – “Where All Good Public Health Protections Go to Die”; Afghanistan’s High Maternal Death Rate; The Disney Hypocrisy; Divorce Tied to Professor’s Job Loss; Amy Richards on “Opting In”; and Read

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Federal Agencies Can Now Offer Secret Input on EPA Chemical Reviews: the Bush administration has made to Environmental Protection Agency reviews of chemicals — changes that officials with the Government Accountability Office say will delay scientific assessments of health risks and open the process to politicization.

Richard Wiles, executive director of the , called the EPA process a “bureaucratic quagmire,” adding, “With these rules in place, it’s now official: The Bush White House is … Read

Breast Cancer Activism: Standing up for People over Profit

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Our Bodies Our Blog has invited the folks at Breast Cancer Action to write monthly guest posts on breast cancer and related issues. We welcome their first entry!

by Pauli Ojea

In the late 1980s, a group of women in a breast cancer support group decided it was time for change. These women, who met regularly to share information and to support each other through their experiences, felt there was read they could do, read they needed to do. Frustrated by the lack of reliable information about … Read

Forget Love. What Would You Do for Health Insurance?

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

According to a new , 7 percent of Americans said they or someone in their household decided to marry in the last year for healthcare benefits.

“It’s a small number but a powerful result, because it shows how paying for healthcare is reflected not only in family budgets but in life decisions,” said Drew E. Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

About 60 percents of those who cited health insurance as a marriage factor live in households making less than $50,000 … Read

New Study Examines Depression in Women, Including Effects of Abortion and Partner Violence

By Rachel Walden |

A examines depression in women and the relationship of past abortions to the condition. This new report is particularly interesting because it attempts to control for the effects of sociodemographic factors and considers the women’s experiences of intimate partner violence, recognizing that multiple factors may impact a woman’s mental health.

Although the study focuses on Australian women, it may be of interest to readers in other countries as well due to recent attempts by anti-choice groups to promote … Read