May 2019 Update

by Judy Norsigian, OBOS Board Chair

Our Bodies Ourselves is now more than seven months into its transition to a volunteer-driven nonprofit, with a few paid consultants, a smaller board of directors, and a wonderful group of volunteers who keep our vital reproductive justice and health advocacy work going.

The OBOS website and Facebook page continue to draw a large following, the media still contact OBOS, and we are especially inspired by the growing group of advocates who are carrying on the intergenerational activism that is so essential to the change we seek. Many of the OBOS founders remain active supporters and participants as well.

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Women’s Liberation Conference workshop out of which “Our Bodies, Ourselves” emerged. In addition, we celebrate a special partnership with Suffolk University, which is launching the new website Our Bodies Ourselves Today under the direction of the Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University.

What else is OBOS doing?

  • Providing Technical Support for Global Partners. OBOS is providing support to women’s groups in several countries who are producing new materials based on “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” Projects are underway in Morocco, Montreal (Quebec), and France, and groups in Brazil and Mongolia are exploring options for creating new resources.
  • Advocating for the Midwifery Model of Care. With the publication of the recent report from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) that strongly supports birth center and midwifery care, as well as other important reports and findings, we have new evidence-based resources for this work. This past week, the Cambridge City Council endorsed a resolution supporting state legislation that would expand access to midwifery care out-of-hospital, and OBOS is working closely with the Bay State Birth Coalition to garner similar support in other cities across the Commonwealth.
  • Advocating for Improved Medical Device Safety. Through screenings of “Absolutely Safe” and the more recent video featuring plastic surgeon Dr. Connie Chen and several of her patients, OBOS continues to raise important concerns about breast implant safety and the FDA review process for medical devices in general.
  • Providing Commercial-free Information on Emerging Genetic Technologies. Although the Surrogacy360 website created by OBOS and the Center for Genetics and Society (CGS) is now managed by CGS, OBOS continues to collaborate on this and related issues. For example, our “call for best practices” regarding global commercial surrogacy will soon be posted at the OBOS website. OBOS also disseminates accurate information to the thousands of young women in the U.S. considering (or undergoing) multiple egg extraction procedures to provide eggs for fertility clinics (or for their own later use).

Although OBOS now has a much smaller budget, we still welcome contributions, both financial and in-kind.  Please help OBOS continue to advocate for the health and human rights of all women!