A congressional briefing yesterday examined the effects of obstetric fistula, a hole in the birth canal suffered by young women who lack emergency obstetric care during prolonged labor. Particularly in developing nations, women who endure obstetric fistula are often ostracized due to their incontinence, odor, infertility, and inability to perform the duties expected of them in their community. Approximately 130,000 new cases develop every year, Dr. Steve Arrowsmith, vice president for International Program Development at the Worldwide Fistula Fund, said during the briefing. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Obstetric fistula is a reflection of poverty and the lack of maternal health care and family planning in some of the poorest countries. Cases in the developed world are now virtually nonexistent because mothers are typically older and are attended by skilled medical professionals during the birthing process.
The condition can be surgically repaired. Access to the proper treatment facilities, however, is restricted, in part, by the "brain drain," or the mass movement of skilled physicians to countries with higher pay and standards of living than their own. Efforts are currently underway not only to train, but also to retain, skilled surgeons in African countries. Additionally, facilities and healthcare providers in developing countries lack much-needed funding and resources. President Bush has withheld funding for the past five years from the United Nations Population Fund, a major player in the fight to eradicate fistula.
Speakers at the briefing included Arrowsmith; Dr. Lisa Thomas, director of EngenderHealth's Safe Motherhood Program; Dr. Anders Seim, executive director of Health and Development International; and Dr. Arletty Pinel, head of the Reproductive Health Branch of the UNFPA. Maurice Middleberg, vice president for Public Policy at the Global Health Council, moderated the session.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .