Our Bodies, Our Blog

My Little Black Book for Sexual Health

By Nekose Wills |

If you have ever wished you had a little black book that answered your questions about sexual health and insurance, your wish has come true.

My Little Black Book for Sexual Health — LittleBlackBookHealth.org — is available online to help you navigate the maze. This resource offers information on various topics, including how to obtain low cost insurance and rules that might govern whether birth control is covered by your insurance.

Described as “a guide for getting the health insurance you need to prevent pregnancy until … Read

Preliminary 2009 Birth Data Released – Another Record High for Cesareans

By Rachel Walden |

The CDC released its preliminary report on 2009 U.S. birth data this week, and the following finding is likely to be of interest to our readers:

The cesarean delivery rate rose to 32.9 percent in 2009, another record high.

This was a 2 percent increase over the previous year; the report indicates that the rate of cesarean is up nearly 60 percent since 1996. The increase was largest among non-Hispanic black women (up 3 percent), and women age 40 and over (half of all births … Read

Avastin Follow-Up: Info from the FDA

By Rachel Walden |

On Friday, Christine posted, FDA Moves to Revoke Approval of Popular Breast Cancer Drug, with the news of and reactions to the FDA’s recent decision that Avastin (bevacizumab) should no longer be approved for use for breast cancer because “the agency has determined that the risks of the drug outweigh the benefits for this use.”

The FDA has posted a site with additional details about the recommendation, including their decision memo explaining the agency’s rationale, press release, Read

FDA Moves to Revoke Approval of Popular Breast Cancer Drug

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The FDA has begun the extraordinary process to revoke approval of the use of the popular drug Avastin to treat advanced breast cancer.

Avastin had received accelerated approval in 2008, but further studies have not shown that the drug improves either overall survival rate or quality of life.

Andrew Pollack of The New York Times notes that the approval is not without some controvery — as “various breast cancer patients and some patient advocacy groups have urged the F.D.A. to keep the drug approved and … Read

Understanding Genetic Information and Privacy Concerns

By Rachel Walden |

If you follow much health news, you’ve probably noticed the expansion of genetic testing in recent years. Individuals with enough disposable income can now purchase packages of genetic tests focused on health and genealogy for their own personal use, in addition to genetic tests physicians might conduct, such as for BRCA1/2 mutations. All of this testing and information gathering naturally raises privacy concerns, as consumers wonder if their genetic information might be used against them, such as when shopping for a health insurance policy.

The Read

Quick Hit: Modern Lady Takes on “Bridalplasty”

By Rachel Walden |

I don’t really even want to talk about “Bridalplasty,” the new show in which women compete to win the “ultimate” wedding – complete with plastic surgery – because it’s too easy to ridicule the participating women without examining the larger issues that make anybody think this whole show and its foundational ideas about women and weddings are a good idea. It would take read than a blog post to deconstruct all of the problems here. Instead, I’m going to leave it to Modern Lady’s … Read

New Report Takes on Injustice of the Hyde Amendment

By Rachel Walden |

The Center for American Progress has released a new report, “Separate and Unequal: The Hyde Amendment and Women of Color,” that seeks to draw attention to how policies such as the Hyde Amendment (which restricts federal funding for abortion) disproportionately affect low-income women, women of color, and young women. Toni M. Bond Leonard of Black Women for Reproductive Justice explains the consequences and injustice of such funding restrictions n the preface:

The Hyde Amendment is, perhaps, the most punitive and inhumane regulation … Read

Rally for Girls’ Sports and Community

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

When discussing how sports benefits girls — which many of us are doing today as part of the National Women’s Law Center Rally for Girls’ Sports Day — I keep coming back to the idea of community.

While sports certainly has many individual health and social benefits for girls, it also gives girls a space to develop relationships based on teamwork and respect. Bolstered by their team, girls are able to step in front of their larger school community and exude … Read

New Recognition for Nurses Dedicated to Evidence-Based Model of Care

By My |

by Nekose Wills | My program assistant

The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) has started the Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition Initiative, which aims to recognize nurses who are dedicated to using an evidence-based model of care to improve health outcomes of birthing women and their babies.

CIMS will confer recognition to nurses who provide maternity care services consistent with the 10 Steps of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative. These nurses keep the best interest of women and babies at the forefront while embracing the MCFI as their … Read

Follow-Up on the Princeton Abortion Conference

By Rachel Walden |

Earlier this year, we noted that Princeton University would be hosting a conference on abortion, “Open Hearts, Open Minds and Fair Minded Words,” with the goal of approaching the topic from different sides and looking for common ground. Frances Kissling has written a piece for Salon, How to Think About Abortion, on her experience of the event (Kissling was one of four organizers, and is the former President of Catholics for a Free Choice). She writes:

The singular focus of each … Read