Judy Norsigian on "Our Bodies, Ourselves," Past, Present and Future

By Christine Cupaiuolo — October 27, 2011

NBC Nightly News, which broadcast a great report this week on the 40th anniversary of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” has posted an exclusive web-only interview with Judy Norsigian, OBOS co-founder and executive director, that is well worth viewing and sharing. (Also see the equally impressive interview with Dr. Susan Love.)

Norsigian talks about how the earlier “Our Bodies, Ourselves” editions demystified health and medical care, helping women to feel entitled about their right to ask questions — and get answers — from a paternalistic medical system. The book “changed the basic discourse” around women’s bodies and health, while also offering explicit information about access to birth control and abortion.

One of the ongoing health challenges, she notes, is the rate of sexually transmitted infections; women around the globe still struggle to have sex that doesn’t put their health at risk.

The video includes footage of a recent book signing for the brand new 2011 edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” held at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass., and references the work of women’s groups in other countries that have adapted “Our Bodies, Ourselves” for their own communities.

In under 3 minutes, this interview provides one of the best historical and forward-looking assessments of the impact of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” around the world.

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