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 Cynthia Pearson, Executive Director
By Kate Ryan
By Cindy Pearson and Jonathan Raymond
By Cindy Pearson
By Shaniqua Seth
By Sandra Bogar
While we expect our physicians’ health care recommendations to be based on best practices, it turns out that doctors make different choices for themselves vs. their patients. In a new study, 500 physicians were given two different clinical scenarios involving two different treatment alternatives to life-threatening illnesses. One option had a better chance of survival but a higher rate of adverse side effects; the other had a lower chance of survival, and less likelihood of bad side effects.
Victoria Heckler, our new Director of Individual Giving, comes to the NWHN with more than a decade of experience working with non-profit organizations, first as a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and more recently for Public Interest Data, Inc., (PIDI) a database service bureau that works exclusively with the non-profit sector.
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.