Friday Double Dose: Nancy Pelosi, Tammy Duckworth, Bella v. Betty and More

By Christine Cupaiuolo — November 10, 2006

Before Rep. Nancy Pelosi was the Voice of the Majority, she was the Pride of Baltimore.

College-Age Women Should Get the HPV Vaccine: Apparently there’s been some confusion over who is eligible for the HPV vaccine Gardasil, which vaccinates against the cervical cancer-causing strains of human papillomavirus responsible for 70 percent of all cervical cancer cases. The vaccine is encouraged for women between the ages of 18 and 26, despite early promotion about it being best for girls under the age of 12.

“One source of the confusion about vaccinating women is that vaccines are usually only administered before exposure and some women at the older age of the recommended age bracket are already sexually active and have been exposed to the virus. However, HPV has dozens of strains, so the vaccine may be effective against strains that have not yet infected the women,” Hannah Seligson writes in Women’s eNews. “Part of the confusion also stems from the vaccine’s primary population target, those who qualify for childhood vaccination programs.”

Now women just have to figure out how to afford it. The vaccine costs about $360 and few insurers are picking up the tab.

Listen Up: Planned Parenthood’s blog posted an audio interview with Eve Gartner, PP’s senior staff attorney who argued Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood before the Supreme Court Wednesday. The interview was recorded just after oral arguments were heard.

Choosing One’s Gender: Via The New York Times, “Separating anatomy from what it means to be a man or a woman, New York City is moving forward with a plan to let people alter the sex on their birth certificate even if they have not had sex-change surgery.”

Women We’ll Miss: Jane Bundy, 83, wrote groundbreaking book on rape; Ellen Willis, 64, journalism professor and cultural critic who founded the feminist group Redstockings and co-founded No More Nice Girls; Helen Dewar, 70, Washington Post Senate reporter.

Quote of the Week: “Losing a campaign is no fun, but it’s not like losing a limb. That’s a lot more no fun.” — Iraq war veteran and Democratic candidate Tammy Duckworth, who lost a close House race Tuesday to Republican Peter Roskam. Duckworth’s legs and her right arm were destroyed when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the helicopter she was co-piloting.

The New Yorker on “Bella v. Betty”: “In a year of all-too-public reconciliations (ranging from Tom and Brooke to Paris and Nicole), word of a rapprochement between the followers of the late Betty Friedan and those of the late Bella Abzug has been relatively slow to spread. It all started, inauspiciously enough, with Friedan’s death, in February,” writes Kate Julian.

Shop and Support: Girls for Gender Equity is celebrating it’s fifth anniversary by holding an Online Charity Auction through Nov. 12. Get a start on your holiday shopping and by visiting eBay.

General Information: The Center for American Progress has a good section on women’s health and rights. Here’s a recently published five-part series on the 30-year-old Hyde Amendment, which denies federal Medicaid money for abortions (except in the case of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s life). * Don’t forget the Hyde — 30 Years is Enough! Campaign.

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