December 10, 2012

PBS American Voices: Our Bodies, Ourselves and the History of the Women’s Health Movement

Watch American Voices: Our Bodies Ourselves on PBS. See more from Need To Know.

The most recent episode of the PBS news show “Need to Know” featured an excellent yet disturbing segment about state legislatures slashing funding to women’s health clinics.

Mona Iskander looks at the effects this is having on women — particularly low-income women — and their ability to obtain birth control, STI screenings, and other reproductive health care services. Our own Judy Norsigian, OBOS’s founder and executive director, weighs in at the end about women’s health activism.

As part of the show’s online series “American Voices,”  Judy covers the beginnings of the women’s health movement in the United States and the launch of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” She discusses the long history of denying women access to services as well as information about their bodies, and notes the effects of so many years of misinformation:

Over the years, we saw repeated attacks on good sex education. So much so that we then ended up with federally funded abstinence-only sex education in many of our schools. And the damage done there is still showing, well into the 21st century. I’ve met professors at medical schools who have said incoming medical students have said that using condoms promotes HIV/AIDS. And that comes straight from their abstinence only sex education in high school.

Watch the video above (just 3.5 minutes) for a look at how hard women have worked to ensure access to accurate, evidence-based information, and why it’s more important than ever  that politicians use this information when setting health care policy.

Want to help educate Congress? Send a copy of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” to your favorite representative or senator. It makes a great holiday gift!


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