The countries with the best outcomes for moms and babies provide maternity care primarily by midwives. Massachusetts ranks in the bottom half of US states when it comes to utilizing midwifery care in part due to a lack of integration of certified professional midwives in our maternity care system. A recent report from the National Partnership for Women and Families (Blueprint for Advancing High-Value Maternity Care Through Physiologic Childbearing) recommends that states recognize certified professional midwives and ensure they meet educational and competency standards … More
The group’s success can be attributed to the model of feminist activism they illustrate in their book.
Based in consciousness-raising, it is a model that prompts women to explore issues in the context of their personal experiences, the experiences of others and the best factual knowledge available to them. As they revised the book, the collective incorporated the voices of more and more women, and they urged their readers to consider the issues being discussed in terms of their own lives.
In early editions of the book, … More
Much of today’s wellness rhetoric omits the argument “Our Bodies, Ourselves” placed front and center: that physical and economic health are not easily separated; that knowledge of our bodies demands knowledge of the social and political climate in which we live. There cannot be one without the other, and it is this lesson we must go on learning — if not from “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” then at least, I hope, from one another, and from the model provided to us by the book and its … More
Diana Namumbejja Abwoye started translating the Ugandan version of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” in 2012. That was a year after she received a copy of the book as a birthday present.
She says she had “never read anything about women’s health, sexuality and birth control. So, when I read this book, I learned so much. It changed my life. So, I wanted to pass on this information to other women.”
Listen to the full story: The Global Reach of ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’
Pincus was one of about two dozen women — many of them young mothers — in the Boston area who found themselves in 1969 unhappy with the scarcity of reliable facts about reproduction. Tired of “getting coffee for the guys” in local civil rights and anti-war activist circles, Pincus said, women “wanted to talk about themselves for a change.”
Each chose a subject for research and discussion — often inspired by personal experience, a problem encountered, such as birth control measures that didn’t work, pregnancy, a … More
From the beginning, OBOS promoted a broad and often daring vision of the close ties between women’s health and social, environmental, and political conditions. This cutting-edge point of departure meant that the organization and its publications often served as a pioneer in identifying and grappling with emerging issues, taking on challenges that most other women’s health groups missed or considered outside the purview of dominant reproductive health and human rights conversations.
As the international assisted reproduction landscape grew, for example, OBOS was there. Its signature book … More
In an email to Lifehacker, Norsigian said even more explicitly that OBOS becoming less current felt extremely significant under the Trump administration, which has been working to curtail information about women’s health all over the world.
“This couldn’t be a worse time for OBOS to contract the important work it has been doing,” she wrote. “But with the fiscal realities OBOS faces, this new volunteer-driven model is the best OBOS can do.”
Read the full story: How Will We Figure Out Our Bodies Without ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’?
National coverage focused on the despair many older women felt about losing access to future versions of the beloved, groundbreaking guide to female health and empowerment—although it’s still widely available, the last edition was published in 2011. The publication’s lasting legacy, though, has seeded its own successors, proliferating far beyond what it uniquely produced a half-century ago. And therein lies the rub: Perhaps this is the organization we all wish to run, one so successful at its central mission that its reason for existence has … More
We appreciate the front-page coverage of Our Bodies Ourselves and its transition to a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization (“Closing the book on ‘Our Bodies,’” April 6). We offer some important clarifications.
First, the 2011 edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” is not out of print; it is distributed in hard copy and e-book editions by Simon & Schuster, and its feminist perspective on women’s health issues is timeless. Most medical information in the 2011 edition is accurate, since information most subject to change went on the website, not … More
Once upon a time, before the advent of Google and WebMD, medical information was dispensed by medical professionals in doctor’s offices. These were dark times, at least if you believe fans of the infamous “women’s health bible,” “Our Bodies, Ourselves.”
The book began life in the late 1960s as a glorified feminist health pamphlet, stapled together and passed around like samizdat by a group of self-described women’s liberation radicals in Boston. The booklet covered topics such as masturbation and postpartum depression as well as more standard fare like the … More