Double Dose: Pharmacies Agree to Prescription Translation; Timing Right for Healthcare Overhaul; NCAA Guidelines on Pregnancy; Hairstylists Trained to Recognize Domestic Violence ...

By Christine Cupaiuolo — November 24, 2008

Women’s Health Activist Newsletter: Check out the November/December issue of the Women’s Health Activist newsletter, a publication from the National Women’s Health Network, and you’ll see some familiar names.

Fellow OBOB writer Rachel Walden discusses the American Psychological Association’s report that found no solid scientific evidence that abortion causes mental distress in women. And OBOS Executive Director Judy Norsigian and Web Manager Kiki Zeldes explain why OBOS added a new title, “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth,” and its relevance as an advocacy tool as well as a practical resource. Find those and other great articles here.

Love and Violence: “Even though India legalized inter-caste marriage more than 50 years ago, newlyweds are still threatened by violence, most often from their families,” writes Emily Wax in the Washington Post. “As more young urban and small-town Indians start to rebel and choose mates outside of arranged marriages and caste commandments, killings of inter-caste couples have increased, according to a recent study by the All India Democratic Women’s Association.”

Lost in Translation?: PAL, the Prescription Access Legislation Blog, praises the move by pharmacy chains CVS and Rite-Aid to offer spoken and written translations of prescription information, as required by New York state law. But PAL raises some good questions, such as: Who is responsible for the content and accuracy of the translated label? And how do small independent and community pharmacies fulfill this obligation?

Senators on Our Side: Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Patty Murray on Thursday introduced legislation to block the “provider conscience” regulation that Health and Human Services is expected to propose any day now.

“In the final days of his administration, the President is again putting ideology first and attempting to roll back health care protections for women and families,” said Sen. Clinton in a statement. And in a piece published at RH Reality Check, Clinton writes:

As many of you know, the rule being proposed by the administration would limit patients’ access to basic reproductive health care services and information. The Protecting Patients and Health Care Act would prevent HHS from implementing this ill-conceived, midnight regulation.

Senator Murray and I have been speaking out against this rule since July when word of this regulation first came to light. The rule, as it was then proposed in August by the Department of Health and Human Services, is a serious threat to patients’ access to information and care.

Then in September, Senator Murray and I had a very frank conversation with Secretary Leavitt about how this rule could create a slippery slope leading to patients being denied access to contraception and other important information or care. However, despite the important concerns we raised to the Secretary, a recent news report indicated that HHS is planning to release a final regulation in the coming days.

Plus: With all Clinton has done for women’s health as as senator, what might she do for women worldwide as secretary of state?

Timing Right for Healthcare Overhaul: “When Barack Obama steps into the Oval Office in January, healthcare reform will join a list of priorities crowded with two wars, a ballooning budget deficit and an economy mired in one of the worst slowdowns since the Great Depression,” reports the L.A. Times. “But the bleak environment may paradoxically spur the kind of costly, sweeping overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system that has eluded policymakers in Washington for decades, many political strategists, industry leaders and economists say.”

Plus: “Seizing on the momentum of the presidential election and the promise of change on a historic scale, a grassroots ‘conversation’ about health care reform under the Obama administration began Thursday with town hall meetings around the nation, including several in the Bay Area,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

When Mom’s a College Athlete: “Last week the NCAA unveiled their new handbook on how to deal with pregnancy. No, it’s not a sports version of Our Bodies Ourselves, but rather a much needed policy. Stories about a pregnant woman on the basketball team pop up now and then in the press, but with no firm rules, each woman was pretty much on her own,” writes Veronica, who goes on to note that the “guidelines are gender-neutral to allow for men to take leave, if their school provides any leave for new moms, as well as prohibiting punishment to women for having premarital sex if men aren’t also equally punished.”

Continue reading for a smart take on pregnancy and women’s sports.

Enlisting Salons in the Campaign Against Domestic Violence: “The privileged, often therapeutic relationship between hairdressers and clients has long been the subject of magazine articles and movies,” writes Leslie Kaufman in The New York Times. “A growing movement in New York and across the nation tries to harness that bond to identify and prevent domestic violence, a pervasive problem that victims are often too ashamed to reveal to law enforcement or other public officials.”

Plus: Many women separated from abusive partners still experience high-disability chronic pain after almost two years, according to Canadian researchers. Their article was published in The Journal of Pain, the peer review journal of the American Pain Society.

In Search of the Female Ideal: “The sexualization and ‘adultification’ of girls is a troubling enough trend. But it’s bookended with an equally disturbing phenomenon: the extreme ‘youthification’ of older women,” writes Anne Ream in a Chicago Tribune op-ed. I really liked the ending and want to read the book mentioned:

In her groundbreaking book, “The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls,” Cornell University researcher Joan Jacobs Brumberg examined the diaries of adolescent girls in the U.S. over the past 100 years to better understand how they discussed self-improvement. While girls of earlier eras focused on improving their studies and becoming better-mannered, the diary entries of contemporary young women showed an almost exclusive emphasis on improved or changed physical appearance.

Feminist firebrand Elizabeth Cady Stanton, in her renowned work, “Our Girls,” once wrote, “I would have girls regard themselves not as adjectives but as nouns.” It’s a hopeful sentiment that feels, right now, more nostalgic than ever before.

Scaring by Example: New York Times writer Lisa Belkin, who pens the Motherlode blog on parenting, recently invited her former editor, Catherine Saint Louis, to guest-blog about her baby’s birth. Saint Louis gave birth via c-section following the diagnosis of severe preeclampsia. Belkin writes in the intro:

Until she left on maternity leave and I began this blog, Catherine was my editor in Thursday Styles. She has long been the healthiest, strongest person I know, so it was particularly jarring when she called last week and told me the story she is about to tell you. She called on the day an article ran in Styles about how home births are on the rise. Catherine had thought of delivering at home. As she writes, her decision to head for the hospital may have saved her life.

In response to the implication that a planned home birth would have been a fatal decision, a number of readers note that midwives who do home births are trained to recognize trouble and would have transferred  the mother to a hospital.

DNA Backlog: In response to the nationwide backlog of rape kits awaiting DNA analysis, The New York Times calls on lawmakers “to address this ongoing insult to women and the intolerable loss for effective law enforcement.”

Girls Not Exactly Gone Wild: “Fewer girls were arrested last year for violent crimes than a decade earlier, according to new government research prompted by a surge in female juvenile delinquency in the 1990s,” reports USA Today. The U.S. Department of Justice found that arrests for aggravated assault by girls younger than 18 fell 17 percent between 1998 and 2007.

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