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.
Antibiotic resistance is a growing public health problem. According to a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, the meat industry has contributed greatly to this problem. The report states that each year the meat industry feeds 24.6 million pounds of antibiotics (approximately 70 percent of total U.S. antibiotic production) to livestock for preventive, non-therapeutic purposes. This number would be even higher if it included therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock.
By Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D
This position paper was developed by the National Women's Health Network for dissemination to our colleagues in the reproductive health field and to reporters who cover this issue. It also will be made available to the general public.
By Mary Lee Esty, LC.S.W.-C, Ph.D. and Tamara Uher, MA.
Remember the story of the ugly duckling? It is the tale of an orphan bird whose egg mysteriously appears in the nest of a mother duck. As a hatchling, the little orphan quickly becomes a curiosity because she is larger than the rest of the brood and a very different color. Because she is clumsy and so different, her "siblings" tease her and refuse to play with her.
Questions and Answers from the NWHN Women’s Health Information Clearinghouse
Q. I was diagnosed recently with uterine cancer after experiencing postmenopausal
bleeding. What are the risk factors of uterine cancer and how can it be treated?
The U.S. rate of cesarean sections is on the rise for the first time since 1989. The percentage of pregnant women having cesareans increased throughout the 1970s and ’80s, to a high of 24.8% in 1988. As a result of the growing popularity of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), by 1996 the cesarean rate had fallen to 20.7% while the VBAC rate rose to 28.3%. According to new data from the National Vital Statistics System, the cesarean rate rose to 21.2% in 1998, while the VBAC rate dropped to 26.3% in the same year.
By Robert Weissman
By Sharon Batt
It was the opening session of a workshop exploring the effect that artificial light has on breast cancer risk, and University of Connecticut epidemiologist Richard Stevens showed an aerial slide of the United States by night. Dots of white city lights twinkled against the blackness, coalescing into splotches in areas of high population density.
To the editor:
By Nora Cody, Executive Director, DES Action
DES Action, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the 10 million Americans exposed to the synthetic hormone drug diethylstilbestrol, is holding the first international colloquium on DES in April, 2001 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The DES Action International Colloquium: 30 Years of Discovery, Education, Science will bring together DES health activists from Canada, England, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Australia, and the U.S. to share lessons and strategies.
In December of 2000 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reached a decision that may expand access to prescription contraceptives for many women. Readers may remember that the March/April 1999 issue of Network News outlined the initiatives that women’s health advocates and supportive members of Congress were taking to establish gender equity in insurance coverage of prescriptive costs, including contraceptive coverage.
Direct-to-Consumer Advertising: “Education” for the People, or Increased Profits for Drug Companies?
In December, the Food and Drug Administration held a rare open meeting in which consumers were invited to express their concerns directly to FDA leaders. The Network joined with several other women’s, cancer and consumer groups to express concern about the negative impact on health of the recent explosion of direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs. Below is an excerpt of a joint statement delivered by Deborah Hochanadel, co-director of the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition.
By Leah Thayer
By Amy Allina
On September 28, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (PDA) announced that it has approved mifepristone (brand name Mifeprex) for use in providing early medical abortion—that is, up to seven weeks after the woman's last menstrual period. It's been four years since the FDA first evaluated the research and found the drug safe and effective for this use. Political opposition to abortion rights held up the mifepristone approval for many years, but science has prevailed at last!
By Rebecca Chalker
By Gina Ogden
Today's performance-oriented, medical-model, morality-based definitions of sex present a public health hazard. They support the domination of women. They encourage the transmission of AIDS and other STDs. They bias the politics of pregnancy and abortion. They promote increasing medicalization, especially as we grow older. They give power to pharmaceutical companies that produce hormone cocktails and Viagra.
By Amy Allina
By Cindy Pearson
The aging of the baby-boomer generation brings millions of women face-to-face with menopause and decisions about hormone replacement therapy. Unfortunately, final answers about the pros and cons of taking hormones during and after menopause are not in, nor are they likely to be in for many years. How can women reconcile this lack of information with their need to make decisions now?
By Amy Allina
Consumers, the National Women's Health Network and several other organizations representing women joined forces October 4 to advocate in favor of accelerating the approval process for vaginal barrier contraceptives, which function by physically blocking conception.
As the FDA nears approval of RU-486 or mifepristone (see 'Early Abortion Drug Approval Expected in Early 2000'), efforts are also underway to expand the availability of early-abortion services from family doctors and other providers at primary-care practice sites. One such effort is The Access Project, launched by three women—all family-practice doctors who secured a major foundation grant for just that purpose. In recent decades, the availability of abortion services has diminished dramatically in the U.S.