Our Bodies, Our Blog

The Ever-rising Cesarean Rate

By Rachel Walden |

A recent New York Times piece, Majority of Caesareans Are Done Before Labor, discusses a study on cesearean section by the Consortium on Safe Labor. The actual study report covered by the Times is currently an “in press” article from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, entitled “Contemporary cesarean delivery practice in the United States” with lead author Jun Zhang.

The researchers reviewed the medical records from read than 200,000 births at 19 hospitals around the country. The authors report an overall cesarean … Read

Our Book, Their Inspiration: Riffing on “Our Bodies, Ourselves”

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Over the years, the book “Our Bodies, Ourselves” has inspired read than simply an enlightened perspective on women’s health — it  has also inspired many title adaptations. To wit: “Our Bodies, Our Cars,” “Our Bodies, Our Quantified Selves,” “Our Bodies, Our Stilettos” … the list goes on.

Read poignantly, Jaclyn Friedman recently broke the silence around women’s sexual freedom with a must-read post at Feministe titled “My Sluthood, Myself.”

Now comes a new sexual guidebook for the … Read

Government Report Outlines Health Status of “Older Americans”

By Rachel Walden |

I missed this earlier in the summer, but wanted to let you know about a government report, Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being, which provides information on the health status of Americans aged 65 years and older, including life expectancy, chronic health conditions, symptoms of depression, prescription drug costs, obesity, physical activity, mammograms, and read. Several of the topics are split into male and female data, such as the percentage of women and men who have heart disease, hypertension, and other conditions, so … Read

Study: Conversation Can Help Reduce Intimate Partner Violence and Reproductive Coercion

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

A new study in the journal Contraception reveals the power of a simple conversation: When trained counselors at family planning clinics ask young women if they have experienced reproductive coercion, it reduces the odds of their male partners forcing them to become pregnant.

Reproductive coercion refers to abusive male behaviors to promote pregnancy, including “birth control sabotage” (interference with contraception) and/or “pregnancy coercion,” such as threatening to harm a woman if she uses birth control or if she has an abortion, and threating to … Read

Multidisciplinary Abortion Conference at Princeton This Fall

By Rachel Walden |

Princeton University is hosting a conference this fall (October 15 & 16), “Open Hearts, Open Minds and Fair Minded Words,” featuring speakers from around the country on the topic of abortion.

The stated goals of the conference are to:

  1. Explore new ways to think and speak about abortion.
  2. Approach issues related to abortion with open hearts and open minds.
  3. Define read precisely areas of disagreement and work together on areas of common ground.
  4. Get to know those on multiple sides of the issues read personally.


Quick Hit: American College of Nurse-Midwives Responds to ACOG’s VBAC Recommendations

By Rachel Walden |

The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) issued a press release today responding to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) recently revised recommendation on vaginal birth after cesarean. The ACNM calls  for “concerted efforts to expand access to vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) in the U.S.” (for background, see our previous post).

Restricting Access, Any Way Possible

By Rachel Walden |

Last night, talk show host Rachel Maddow discussed tactics used by anti-choice activities to restrict women’s access to abortion. She focused on Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, who has issued an opinion indicating that the state may impose additional restrictions on providers of first trimester abortions, including allowing the Board of Health to regulate them as “hospitals.” An article in the Roanoke Times explains:

Cuccinelli’s opinion notes that health centers specializing in reproductive services are characterized as physicians’ offices that are … Read

Keeping Up With Recalls, the Egg Edition

By Rachel Walden |

While it’s not strictly women’s health, I wanted to pass along these resources on keeping up with food recalls (especially in light of the current egg recall estimated to affect around half a million eggs). The resources below can help keep you informed about product safety in this and future recall events.

First, some good resources for keeping up with product recalls in general:

  • From the FDA: Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts (you can sign up for email alerts)
  • Recalls.gov: news about and … Read

Guttmacher Releases Policy Review Calling for Better Abortion Access for Servicewomen

By Rachel Walden |

The summer 2010 Guttmacher Policy Review includes a piece, Off Base: The U.S. Military’s Ban on Privately Funded Abortions, which describes current military policy on abortion, including the existing ban on public funding and debate about lifting the ban on privately funded abortions in military medical facilities.

For context, the piece explains:

Earlier this year, the Senate Armed Services Committee moved toward restoring abortion rights to some 200,000 active duty women in the U.S. military, by voting to reverse current policy prohibiting the performance of … Read

Committee to Shape Federal Research Agenda on Breast Cancer Genetics, Environmental Factors

By Rachel Walden |

Earlier this summer, we wrote about the President’s Cancer Panel report on environmental causes of cancer. Relatedly, the National Institutes of Health announced this week the formation of a committee to focus in part on environmental factors related specifically to breast cancer.

The committee will “develop and coordinate a strategic federal research agenda on environmental and genetic factors related to breast cancer.” It will apparently review current federal breast cancer research activities and make recommendations for improving these programs.

The committee is composed … Read