Our Bodies, Our Blog

Double Dose: Sex Ed Battles; Politics and Misogyny; Doctors Respond to Ovarian Cancer Email; Exercise and Cold Weather – Brrr

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Sex Ed Battles: Via , in Montgomery County, Md., opponents of a new sex-education curriculum approved by the school board last year — the first in the district to address sexual orientation as a classroom topic — are challenging the part that describes homosexuality as innate, insisting it doesn’t meet the “factually accurate” standard set by Maryland state law.

Opponents also object to references made during the condom instruction to anal and oral sex. Their attorney said those passages violate a state … Read

Abortions Drop to Lowest Level in 30 Years

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

According to a , the number of abortions in the United States dropped to 1.2 million in 2005, the lowest number in almost 30 years

The report, which is based on a survey of 1,787 abortion doctors, will be published in the March issue of the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health and is (PDF) at the Institute’s website.

The Institute also has made available slide shows covering

WIC to (Barely) Increase Women’s Access to Nutritious Produce

By Rachel Walden |

Via the New York Times’s , we learned of in the American Journal of Public Health in which low-income women receiving federal funding through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program were provided with $10 per week in vouchers to buy produce of their choosing at a farmers’ market or grocery story.

The study was intended to assess whether provision of these vouchers would actually increase fruit and vegetable consumption, as a test of proposed changes to the … Read

Report on Status of Reproductive Rights in the United States

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Less than a week before the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, NARAL Pro-Choice America has released its 17th annual “Who Decides? The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States,” which tracks legislation and court decisions and summarizes related state laws.

It’s a very handy resource, and this year’s edition introduces key political and policy-related findings that should be of interest going into the elections. Some highlights:

  • In 2007, 28 states enacted a total of 80 pro-choice measures, a 43-percent increase from 2006. States enacted … Read

Calls for Action, Votes and Participation

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

An activism mini round-up …

Assault Against Women: Congresswomen Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), have (PDF) to the Department of Defense and the State Department about efforts to address sexual assault crimes against government contracted employees. The letter cites Jamie Leigh Jones, who was gang raped by fellow employees and held against her will, and Tracy Barker, who was sexually assaulted by a State Department employee.

Jill at Feministe has read on … Read

A Randomized Study of Birth, Complete with Ethical Dilemmas

By Rachel Walden |

An interesting study of the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology randomized 61 pregnant women with an occipitoposterior (OP, or “face up”) position during the second stage of labor to either have or not have an experienced physician or midwife attempt a digital or manual rotation of the baby into the read favorable occipitoanterior (OA) position. The researchers then looked at those two groups for how they ultimately delivered, including whether they required c-section.

The authors … Read

Double Dose: A Modest Proposal for Pregnant Teens; C-Section Stats Under Review; Googling Your Health; New Info on Medicare and Health Insurance Coverage

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

A Modest Proposal: “Pregnant students in a Denver high school are asking for at least four weeks of maternity leave so they can heal, bond with their newborns and not be penalized with unexcused absences,” , which notes that Denver Public Schools has no districtwide policy, meaning it’s left up to schools to “to work out plans for students to continue their education.”

What that means is some schools have set a policy whereby girls who don’t show up for school … Read

Spain’s Abortion Providers on Strike

By Rachel Walden |

Spain’s private abortion clinics are in the middle of a begun on Tuesday. The action is in response to raids on some clinics, for alleged illegal late-term abortions, and clinic closures late last year, and following protests against the clinics. Providers also want changes to Spanish abortion law, which allows the procedure up to 22 weeks for fetal malformation and up to 12 weeks for rape – in other cases, it must be determined that the woman’s physical … Read

Seeing Red: Diet Coke and Heart Disease

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

“Our research with consumers has told us that women today are increasingly mindful of making choices that positively impact their lives.” — Katie Bayne, CMO of Coca-Cola North America, Atlanta

What’s a company to do when its product is not recommended as part of a healthy lifestyle? Simple: Put on a little red dress.

Diet Coke and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute are teaming up to promote “” campaign, which aims to raise awareness of women’s risk of heart disease. In … Read

Considering the Implications of Paid Surrogacy

By Rachel Walden |

have noted a booming business in India for women who are paid to act as gestational surrogates, who receive compensation many times a normal salary in the region to carry out a pregnancy for women in other countries (including the United States).

In the U.S., we have an uneasy relationship with anything that smacks of paying people for their bodies – prostitution is generally illegal, payment of egg donors has inspired much (including suggestions that payment … Read