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Weekly News Round-Up – The Jet Lag Edition

May 24, 2009

After the past week, I kind of have no idea what’s going on in the world. I’m catching up here as much or more than you may be.

Christine covered for me at OBOS, and has some good stuff.

Womanist Musings is one place I regularly visit in order to be challenged and shaken out of my own habits of thinking. This post on what happened at Feministing re: a conversation about a post about Malcolm X’s birthday is one example of why (make sure to follow Renee’s link to the Feministing thread as well).

Renee also has her weekly Drop it Like it’s Hot round-up, with links to lots of interesting posts.

The Women’s Media Center is doing awards, with some kick-ass ladies as honorees.

A bunch of folks have been talking about withdrawal as a somewhat reliable method of contraception. This just gives me the willies, no pun intended. I don’t actually even care how reliable it is, this is just my gut reaction that there is no way I would trust withdrawal alone instead of a barrier or hormonal method, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for teenagers or casual encounters (no STI protection!). Add on? Fine. Alone? Too much of a control freak for that.

From the LA Times, Twitter trackers follow public reaction to swine flu. Vaguely interesting, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise that folks on Twitter became less active and concerned about swine flu along with the general public, as Twitter users *are* generally part of the general public.

Consumers Union has a new Safe Patient Project, intended “to eliminate medical harm in our health care system through public disclosure of health care outcomes (such as hospital-acquired infection rates and incidents of medical errors) and information about health care providers (such as complaints against and license violations of physicians and hospitals). The campaign also works to improve drug safety by ensuring that consumers have full information about prescription drugs (such as in direct-to-consumer ads and access to clinical trial results), by strengthening oversight of the FDA, and by ending practices that create conflicts of interest (such as drug company gifts to doctors).”

The new guy at the CDC is an Oberlin alum, and also did some work as a student with an organization I’m on the board of (see below). I have high hopes. Some HIV/AIDS activists in New York City are less enthusiastic, though.

From the CDC, QuickStats: Percentage of Live Births by Cesarean Delivery, by Plurality — United States, 1996, 2000, and 2006.

The sponge is back again?

From the New York Times, Where Life’s Start Is a Deadly Risk – on maternal mortality in Tanzania.

The Tennessee Files:
-While I was gone, SJR127 passed the Tennessee House, a bill to amend the state Constitution to say that nothing therein protects the right to an abortion. It’s a trigger law for the event that Roe is overturned, but is also a mechanism to allow the State to put in place restrictions/delays such as have been done in other states (waiting periods, forced ultrasounds, etc.-you know, all those things that have nothing to do with medical care and everything to do with creating barriers to a legal choice and assuming women are just stupid little creatures who haven’t thought hard enough). I had a little to say about that here, and links to a couple more places. Rep. Mike Turner (D) completely failed us when he voted for it and said “I have three daughters and I’m concerned that if one of those young ladies got in this situation of being brutally raped by some gangster or some hoodlum, they should have choices.” Because women should have the choice of bodily autonomy only if they are punished enough first. Way to go with the vaguely racist assertion about hoodlums, too. I’m calling out Turner specifically because of this bone-headed remark and his overtures to regular, not-Republican-lite Dems in recent months. I’d like to specifically thank the 21 Representatives who voted against the bill, including my own Rep, Mary Pruitt. See also Ilissa, andthe Archrone.
-Ilissa also has some stuff on another bill related to Title X funding.
-I’m on the board of an organization, housed at Vanderbilt but without a lot of the vast resources of Vanderbilt, that does lots of community work, called the Center for Health Services. Enter the Center in a drawing from a local non-profit support org by tweeting as follows: Help the Vandy Center for Health Services win $100 from @CFMT by RT this! Learn more: http://tinyurl.com/r6usaj #cfmt #nonprofitgiveaway

Notes from Libraryland:
I have a bunch of blog posts here from my official blogging duties (along with ~20 other folks) during the recent Medical Library Association annual meeting. I’m particularly pleased about this one, from an ethics task force open forum. Other notes from the trip are posted here, including some web resources I learned about. I also have a post up on resources for minority health for library collections, and a new Spanish-language consumer health magazine from the National Library of Medicine.

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