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Archive for the ‘reproductive health’ Category

Between 2006 and 2010, Unintended Pregnancy Rates Declined in a Majority of States

February 25, 2015 Comments off

Between 2006 and 2010, Unintended Pregnancy Rates Declined in a Majority of States
Source: Guttmacher Institute

In 2010, more than half of all pregnancies were unintended in 28 states; in the remainder of states, a minimum of 36% of pregnancies were unintended, according to “Unintended Pregnancy Rates at the State Level: Estimates for 2010 and Trends Since 2002,” by Kathryn Kost. In most states, unintended pregnancy rates were within the range of 40 to 55 per 1,000 women aged 15–44; the states with the highest unintended pregnancy rates were Delaware (62), Hawaii and New York (61 each), and the lowest rate was in New Hampshire (32). Unintended pregnancy rates were generally highest in the South (Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia) and Southwest (Texas, New Mexico), and in densely populated states (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York).

CRS — Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response (January 23, 2015)

February 12, 2015 Comments off

Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in Roe v. Wade that the U.S. Constitution protects a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy. In Doe v. Bolton, a companion decision, the Court found that a state may not unduly burden the exercise of that fundamental right with regulations that prohibit or substantially limit access to the means of effectuating the decision to have an abortion. Rather than settle the issue, the Court’s rulings since Roe and Doe have continued to generate debate and have precipitated a variety of governmental actions at the national, state, and local levels designed either to nullify the rulings or limit their effect. These governmental regulations have, in turn, spawned further litigation in which resulting judicial refinements in the law have been no more successful in dampening the controversy.

Abortion Legislation in Europe

February 12, 2015 Comments off

Abortion Legislation in Europe (PDF)
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report summarizing laws on abortion in selected European countries shows diverse approaches to the regulation of abortion in Europe.

A majority of the surveyed countries allow abortion upon the woman’s request in the early weeks of pregnancy, and allow abortion under specified circumstances in later periods. Some countries impose a waiting period of a certain number of days following counseling. Some require consultation with medical personnel before an abortion may be performed. Several countries require that medical personnel certify the abortion is for a reason permitted by law. The most restrictive country surveyed here, Ireland, allows abortion only when there is a real and substantial risk to the woman’s life.

New From the GAO

February 10, 2015 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Prenatal Drug Use and Newborn Health: Federal Efforts Need Better Planning and Coordination. GAO-15-203, February 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-203
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/668386.pdf

2. Medicaid: Additional Federal Action Needed to Further Improve Third-Party Liability Efforts. GAO-15-208, January 28.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-208
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/668135.pdf

3. Critical Technologies: Agency Initiatives Address Some Weaknesses, but Additional Interagency Collaboration Is Needed. GAO-15-288, February 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-288
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/668383.pdf

Women and Girls at Risk of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in the United States

February 9, 2015 Comments off

Women and Girls at Risk of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in the United States
Source: Population Reference Bureau

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), involving partial or total removal of the external genitals of girls and women for religious, cultural, or other nonmedical reasons, has devastating immediate and long-term health and social effects, especially related to childbirth. This type of violence against women violates women’s human rights. There are more than 3 million girls, the majority in sub-Saharan Africa, who are at risk of cutting/mutilation each year. In Djibouti, Guinea, and Somalia, nine in 10 girls ages 15 to 19 have been subjected to FGM/C. Some countries in Africa have recently outlawed the practice, including Guinea-Bissau, but progress in eliminating the harmful traditional practice has been slow.1 Although FGM/C is most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, global migration patterns have increased the risk of FGM/C among women and girls living in developed countries, including the United States.

Increasingly, policymakers, NGOs, and community leaders are speaking out against this harmful traditional practice. As more information becomes available about the practice, it is clear that FGM/C needs to be unmasked and challenged around the world.

Association Between Pornography Use and Sexual Risk Behaviors in Adult Consumers: A Systematic Review

February 2, 2015 Comments off

Association Between Pornography Use and Sexual Risk Behaviors in Adult Consumers: A Systematic Review
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

The purpose of this review was to determine whether an association exists between sexual risk behaviors and pornography consumption. Consumption of pornography is common, yet research examining its link with sexual risk behaviors is in its infancy. Indicators of sexual risk behavior, including unsafe sex practices and a higher number of sexual partners, have been linked to poor health outcomes. A systematic literature search was performed using Medline, PsycINFO, Web of Knowledge, Pubmed, and CINAHL. Studies were included if they assessed the association between pornography use and indicators of sexual risk behaviors in an adult population. A total of 17 were included in the review, and all were assessed for research standards using the Quality Index Scale. For both Internet pornography and general pornography, links with greater unsafe sex practices and number of sexual partners were identified. Limitations of the literature, including low external validity and poor study design, restrict the generalizability of the findings. Accordingly, replication and more rigorous methods are recommended for future research.

Improving Children’s Life Chances through Better Family Planning

January 29, 2015 Comments off

Improving Children’s Life Chances through Better Family Planning
Source: Brookings Institution

Non-marital childbearing is associated with many adverse outcomes for both the mother and the child. Most of these births are unintended. If we could reduce these unintended births it might improve children’s prospects by enabling their mothers to get more education, earn more, and wait to have children within marriage. In this brief, we trace the effects of reducing unintended childbearing on children’s success later in life by using the Social Genome Model (SGM) to simulate the effect on children’s life chances of aligning women’s fertility behavior with their intentions.

Though the impacts of improving women’s control over their fertility are small for the population as a whole, there are significant and important improvements in the lives of children who would have otherwise been “born too soon.” These findings suggest that increasing access to and awareness of high-quality, easy-to-use contraception and improving the educational and labor market prospects of low-income women are important steps in improving children’s life chances.

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