Our Bodies, Our Blog

Quick Hit: FDA Approves 5-Day Emergency Contraception

By Rachel Walden |

In June, we wrote about the FDA’s Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs recommendation to approve ulipristal acetate (brand name “ella”) for emergency contraception. On Friday, the FDA did approve the drug, as a prescription-only emergency contraceptive to be taken up to 120 hours (5 days) after contraceptive failure/unprotected sex. Existing “Plan B”-type emergency contraception is currently approved for use up to 72 hours.

Despite the five-day use window for this drug (and the three-day window for others), some media outlets persist in … Read

Chemistry for Change: Call on Congress to Support the Endocrine Disruption Prevention Act

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has long studied the various potential health effects of low-level exposure to chemicals called endocrine disruptors that interfere with development and function. These substances, both natural and man-made, include pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, DDT and other pesticides, and plastics such as bisphenol A (BPA).

Very little action has been taken on the basis of these studies, but new legislation working its way through Congress aims to change that.

The Endocrine Disruption Prevention Act of 2009 … Read

For the New School Year: Medical and Nursing Students for Choice

By Rachel Walden |

As we know, the majority of U.S. counties lack an abortion provider, and ensuring that proper training in the procedure is available to future healthcare providers is one key aspect of making and keeping abortion available. As the new school year approaches and new medical and nursing students are arriving at campuses all over the country, we thought we’d list resources for students interested in organizing to promote and protect abortion training in their programs. Two organizations working hard to provide information and resources … Read

First Annual Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice

By Rachel Walden |

Via @NLIRH, we learned that the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice and the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights have teamed up for the first annual Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice, starting today and running until August 15th.

As part of the week, the groups are asking supporters to their Congressional representatives “to ask the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support comprehensive family planning … Read

Judge Strikes Down California Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: Links, Timelines & Song

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The news today was celebratory, but the battle over Proposition 8 is far from over. From The New York Times:

Saying that it discriminates against gay men and women, a federal judge in San Francisco struck down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, handing supporters of such unions at least a temporary victory in a legal battle that seems all but certain to be settled by the Supreme Court.

Wednesday’s decision is just the latest chapter in what is expected to be a … Read

Health on the Net

By Rachel Walden |

The Health on the Net foundation is conducting a survey of how people (both health professionals and patients) use the Internet for finding and accessing health information. They estimate that the survey will take 10-15 minutes, and it is available in both English and French.

You may have seen HON code certification on some health-related websites; the certification denotes that the site has met certain criteria for credibility and transparency, and has applied for certification and been approved. HON provides a list of some … Read

Dispatches from Medical Libraryland

By Rachel Walden |

I served as an official blogger again this year for the Medical Library Association annual conference, held in Washington, DC. In addition to blogging, I got to do two presentations myself!

Here’s a round-up of the posts I wrote, which generally include some good online resources related to the topics at hand. Various posts may be of interest to other med librarians, individuals with NIH-funded or other federally funded research grants, anatomy instructors, those interested in HIV/AIDS or vaccines or community outreach on health, … Read

Selling Out Medicine: An Up-Close Look at the Pharmaceutical Industry’s Influence on Medical Research

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Boston Review recently produced a special issue entitled “Big Pharma, Bad Medicine” — and it is well worth reading.

Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and author of “The Truth About Drug Companies,” wrote the lead article — to which many other academics, health writers and industry representatives responded.

Angell’s opening critique of the cozy relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and medical research institutions is devastating. Summarinzing an argument she made in her book — and in Read

Activists Protest Anti-Abortion Campaign Targeting Women of Color

By Rachel Walden |

Earlier this week, the so-called “Pro-Life Freedom Ride” (alluding to the civil rights freedom rides) arrived at the King Center in Atlanta to demonstrate in opposition to abortion rights. The “freedom ride” campaign is being organized by Priests for Life to “build…on a method that the Civil Rights Movement used effectively forty years ago,” and consists of anti-abortion activists taking a bus to cities “with strategic significance for the movement” (such as Atlanta and Birmingham) to demonstrate against abortion.

The “ride” to … Read

Live in Massachusetts? Support Midwives? Call Your Legislator Today

By Judy Norsigian |

If you’re in Massachusetts, please ask your state representative to urge House Speaker Robert DeLeo to bring an important midwifery bill to a vote. Text of the bill — House 4810: An Act Relative to Certified Professional Midwives and Enhancing the Practice of Nurse-Midwives — can be found here.

The bill was just released from the House Policy and Steering Committee and is now in Third Reading, chaired by Rep. Vincent Pedone of Worcester.  The legislative session closes on Saturday, July 31. If it’s not … Read