Our Bodies, Our Blog

“Moms’ Crying Need” for Better Maternity Care

By Rachel Walden |

Women’s eNews currently features a piece, Black Infant Mortality Points to Moms’ Crying Need, which outlines the health disparities and systemic forces that stand between Black women and their babies and health. Author Kimberly Seals Allers argues that “If African American, Latino and Native American babies are too often in jeopardy, that means that this country is miserably failing women of color, and black women in particular, in the process of birthing healthy babies.”

She explains:

African Americans have 2.3 times the infant mortality rate as non-Hispanic … Read

Political Diagnosis: Senate Finance Committee Considers Health Care Reform Bill

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The Senate Finance Committee today began its mark up on the health care overhaul bill put forth by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). C-SPAN is covering it live.

Baucus, chair of the committee, seemed to anger all Republicans and Democrats when he released a bill last week that was read conservative than what most Democrats in Congress wanted, yet not conservative enough for any Republican to sign on.

Other committee members have since contributed 534 amendments, including three different amendments … Read

Health Agencies and Organizations on Twitter

By Rachel Walden |

As many of you may know, My Executive Director Judy Norsigian is on Twitter, where she shares links to our posts and other items of interest. If you’re unfamiliar with this social networking tool, Twitter allows users to post very short (140-character) messages to share with their “followers,” and to view these updates from those they are “following.” Here is a sampling of health-related government, news, and organization Twitter accounts I’m familiar with; please leave additional suggestions in the comments!

U.S. Government

The Debate over Climate Change and Reproductive Health

By Rachel Walden |

The medical journal The Lancet has an editorial in its current issue that argues that one way to help ward off climate change is to increase family planning services and reduce unintended pregnancies.

The writers of the editorial, Sexual and reproductive health and climate change, believe that family planning proponents might gain read support and funding if they focused on how family planning can reduce climate change. They argue:

With less than 3 months to go, the UN Copenhagen conference on climate change provides an … Read

Study Finds Top Medical Journals Have Significant Rates of Ghostwritten Articles

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

When you, or read likely your doctor, reads an article in a medical journal on the efficacy of a certain drug, it would be nice to know whether the article includes research or writing contributions from people or companies other than the credited author — such as, say, the pharmaceutical company that makes the drug.

But according to a new study by the editors of the Journal of the American Medical Association, some of the top medical journals have published a significant number of articles written by ghostwriters … Read

Breaking: Senator Max Baucus Releases Health Care Proposal

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

After much wrangling and delays, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today released his draft of a health care bill. Baucus will hold a press briefing at 12 p.m. ET.

It does not include a government public option as many Democratic leaders had hoped but instead promotes membership-run co-ops to compete with for-profit insurance companies.

The bill is already drawing fire from both sides of the political spectrum. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said he … Read

FDA Panel Recommends Cervical Cancer Vaccine; Florida Teen Objects to Gardasil as Path to Citizenship

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

A second vaccine designed to protect against cervical cancer may soon be available in the United States.

A Food and Drug Administration panel last week gave its approval to GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s Cervarix vaccine, essentially recommending that the FDA approve the vaccine for use in females 10 to 25 years old. The recommendation is not binding; the FDA can reject the decision, but it generally accepts the opinions made by an outside panel of experts.

The vaccine protects against two strains of human papilloma virus (HPV) that are associated … Read

Midwifery on Trial on Today

By Rachel Walden |

Last week, the Today Show aired a segment initially titled “The Perils of Midwifery,” which despite the title was not about occupational hazards for midwives (ha), or even about midwifery in general, but about home birth specifically. Although it has since been recaptioned “The Perils of Home Birth” on the NBC website, the original titling as aired to many viewers can still be seen on various websites, including Hulu.

The piece itself tends to gloss over the variety of personal reasons women … Read

Guide to Osteoporosis Treatments Now Available in Spanish

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Here’s news to share with women’s health groups: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released the Spanish language version of Osteoporosis Treatments that Help Prevent Broken Bones: A Guide for Women After Menopause (PDF). For a free print copy, call the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse: (800) 358-9295

The guide covers prescription drugs available to treat osteoporosis, along with their potential side effects and risks. Myhags Executive Director Judy Norsigian reviewed … Read

Obama Explains the Financial and Moral Imperative for Health Care Reform

By Christine Cupaiuolo |


President Obama last night did what should have been done a month ago: He presented a clear, passionate case for health care reform that re-charged supporters, and he reached out to groups wary of reform efforts.

“I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last,” said Obama. “Our collective failure to meet this challenge – year after year, decade after decade – has led us to a breaking point.”

Now the question is whether the … Read