Our Bodies, Our Blog

Upcoming “Let’s Talk About Sex” Conference from SisterSong

By Rachel Walden |

Next July, SisterSong – an organization that focuses on women of color and reproductive justice – is hosting a Let’s Talk About Sex Conference in Miami, FL.

The conference announcement explains that the program will include:

workshops and plenary sessions on topics such as birth control, senior sexuality, STDs, microbicides, gynecological health and wellness, erotica, militarism, youth sexuality, and read, all through a reproductive justice lens.

Discounted early registration is open through January 31. The call for papers/workshop proposals is open through … Read

Quick Hit: New Data on U.S. Sexually Transmitted Infections

By Rachel Walden |

If you need something to read over the long weekend and have a really strong interest in sexually transmitted infections, you’re in luck – the CDC has released a 100+ page report, Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2009, on statistics and trends in STIs.

The report focuses primarily on the common STIs of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis, with data on rates by geographic region, age, sex, and race/ethnicity. It also discusses antibiotic resistance (*shudders*) and drugs in use for treatment of these infections. This publication … Read

New Developments in Efforts to Expand Emergency Contraception Access

By Rachel Walden |

Earlier this year, we wrote about the Center for Reproductive Rights’s efforts to bring attention to young women’s continued lack of over-the-counter access to emergency contraception, despite a lack of evidence for the current age-based cutoff.

In March of 2009, a judge ordered the FDA to extend over-the-counter access to 17-year-olds, and also to reconsider these age restrictions in general. Last week, the Center filed a motion for civil contempt against the FDA arguing that the agency has failed to reconsider … Read

Replacing “Perfection” With Action: SPARK Summit Sounds Alarm About Sexualization of Girls

By Guest Contributor |

by Nekose Wills | My program assistant

The challenges girls face today are unlike the challenges many of us faced growing up. I’m 32, and I remember not caring about my Oscar the Grouch eyebrows, who designed my clothes, or how sexy I looked in them. Girls growing up today don’t have such freedom — they’re sexualized everywhere they look.

The SPARK Summit, held Oct. 21 at Hunter College in New York City, was an alarm, waking us up to the … Read

Illinois House Expected to Vote on Home Birth Safety Act

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

This week, the Illinois House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Home Birth Safety Act (SB 3712) to license certified professional midwives (CPMs).

Passage of the bill would allow CPMs to legally attend home births throughout the state. While approximately 800 babies are born at home in Illinois, only six out of 102 counties have legal, licensed home birth providers (CPMs, nurse midwives or doctors).

“As a result, families are resorting to giving birth at home unassisted (the national rate for this increased by 10% … Read

What Does New Research on Adolescent Brain Development Tell Us About Designing Adolescent Reproductive Health Services?

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

by Karin Ringheim | Population Reference Bureau

A recent NPR story on the biological basis for the sometimes confrontational, erratic and seemingly irrational behavior of adolescents reminded me of my own experiences in raising adolescents (and gratitude that this particular stage of life is now behind me).

As Garrison Keillor recently reminded us, to be a parent is to live a life of constant silent prayer — prayer that everything will turn out all right. We know that adolescents don’t always exercise … Read

Judy Norsigian Joins the “The Body” Discussion at the Chicago Humanities Festival

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The Chicago Humanities Festival continues tonight with Myhags Executive Director Judy Norsigian, who will give the Doris Conant Lecture on Women and Culture at 6 p.m. at the Francis W. Parker School (2233 N Clark Street).

Here’s the summary of her talk, which will include discussion of reproductive technologies and cosmetic surgeries:

In her current advocacy efforts, Norsigian seeks to help women navigate the intersections of technology and health to better understand controversies surrounding genetics research, medications, fertility, and other areas that … Read

Public Comment Invited to Inform Review of Nitrous Oxide for Labor Pain Relief

By Rachel Walden |

Many of you may already be familiar with the systematic and comparative effectiveness reviews produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), such as these reviews of the available evidence for birth-related interventions such as labor induction, maternal request c-section, VBAC, and episiotomy.

Recently, AHRQ has become read active in soliciting public input to the review process, and today they posted for public comment the key questions and background materials for a review that will be conducted soon, Read

2011 Conference on Social Justice, Health Disparities, and Women’s Health

By Rachel Walden |

In January 2011, the DePaul University Master of Public Health Program will host the “The Health Disparities and Social Justice Conference,” with a special focus on women’s health. The conference itself will be free of charge and will be held in Chicago, IL.

Limited information about the program is available at this time; the save-the-date announcement indicates:

Presentations will take the form of skills-building workshops. Sessions will be focused on some aspect of the intersection of health disparities and women’s health among diverse populations, such … Read

Election-Related Repro Rights Round-Up

By Rachel Walden |

A few good commentaries on what last week’s midterm election results mean for reproductive rights:

Ms Magazine: Election 2010: Pro-Choice Sustains Big Losses; Abortion Not Deciding Factor notes that 13 of the Democratic house losses were anti-choice Democrats defeated by anti-choice Republicans; “Perhaps read telling, 24 House Democrats who lost had voted yes on the Stupak/Pitts Amendment.”

Lisa Hymas at Grist: What does the election mean for population and reproductive rights? points out that at least 10 governorships have flipped from … Read