Newsletter The Women’s Health Activist® is a bimonthly publication of the National Women’s Health Network. We’d like to hear from you. Please e-mail questions or comments to email@example.com.
By Rachel Walden
Finally some good news on drugs! Abbott Laboratories, a top pharmaceutical company, is lowering the cost of its popular HIV/AIDS medication, Kaletra. Even better, Abbott says that the price reduction applies to patients enrolled in the Federal AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP). ADAP provides HIV/AIDS drugs to low-income people living with AIDS who would not otherwise be able to afford the extremely expensive medications that treat and manage the disease. Let’s hope other drug companies follow suit!
By Kate Ryan
I woke up the morning of April 9th not knowing if I would need to put money in the meter when I drove to downtown Washington, DC and parked in front of the office. Why didn’t I know whether I would have to pay to park my car on that Saturday morning? Because the Federal budget was about to run out at midnight on April 8th and, if the Federal government shuts down (as was still a possibility when I went to bed), the government of Washington DC also has to shut down.
Kimberly Inez McGuire
From the very start, 2011 has been a tough year for women’s health advocates. Unprecedented attacks on access to abortion and funding for contraception set many of us in the movement on edge, wondering, “What’s next?” Yet amid the introduction of dangerous and misleading anti-choice legislation in state and Federal legislatures and hidden camera video stunts in clinics, a piece of good news quietly blipped across the women’s health radar screen early this year.
By Amy Allina
We know that NWHN members of all ages have believed for decades that this country needed health reform. And we know you worked hard to achieve the victory of enacting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law last year! We also know that seniors are expressing a lot of skepticism and concern about how the ACA’s changes and requirements will affect their health care.
The training that medical students receive about women’s health significantly influences the day-to-day decisions your doctor (and any health provider supervised by doctors) makes about your health care. Sadly, right now, medical schools and the organizations that supervise them, are doing a lousy job of helping providers understand and treat their female patients.
Emergency contraceptives (EC) are used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, and are usually recommended for only occasional use. Now a review of studies conducted on levonorgestrel (the synthetic hormone used in most EC, including Plan B One-Step and Next Choice) has found that women can use EC safely as regular birth control. The review found that the reported rate of unintended pregnancies in women taking levonorgestrel EC was lower than for those using condoms and spermicides.
West Virginia established a state health insurance exchange, preparing the state for some of the biggest improvements of health reform that will go into effect through the state exchanges in 2014. Progressive health reform advocates successfully defeated anti-choice efforts to amend the exchange legislation by imposing new restrictions on abortion funding.
By Katherine Mullins
Long-time NWHN members know that we are critical of U.S. gynecologists for doing way too hysterectomies. Now research confirms that both having a hysterectomy for many common conditions, and removing the ovaries during hysterectomy, can have dangerous impacts on women’s health.
In 2009, U.S. teen birth rate hit an all time low, falling 6% from 2008 rates to the lowest level recorded. Experts believe the recession may have affected the rate to some extent, since both the overall fertility rate and the number of U.S. births also have declined for two years in a row. The negative effects of teen pregnancy have received a lot of press, including the popular TV show, 16 and Pregnant. Other factors include public health campaigns, access to family planning, and comprehensive sexuality education.
By Carol Ratliff Drury
By Kate Ryan
By Rachel Walden
By Susan K. Flinn, MA
For decades, women’s health advocates have been concerned about the safety of Depo-Provera, the progesterone-based contraceptive shot (the shot). Some of the earliest concerns sparked by findings from animal studies have been laid to rest by carefully conducted clinical research, like studies showing that Depo does not increase women’s risk of breast cancer.i The findings about Depo’s effect on women’s bone mineral density, however, continue to raise troubling questions about the safety of this drug.
I love this issue of the newsletter. I think you’ll like it, too. There’s a common theme in these articles: the power of women’s voices. It might take a while, but once women who are concerned about a health issue raise their voices, we get results.
By Amy Allina
By Samantha Greenberg
When I was little, my mother taught me about sex with the help of Per Holm Knudsen’s book The True Story of How Babies are Made. I remember laughing at the book’s goofy cartoon illustrations while attempting to grasp its detailed explanations of sexual intercourse and conception. As my mother and I looked through the book, she told me that a man and a woman must get married before becoming sexually intimate. To do otherwise, she said, would be a sin against God.