So, I’ve been a bit incommunicado thanks to the intensity of my clinical schedule, and the fact that last week was our first exam, and I was busy spending every spare minute studying for it (I’m very pleased to report that I did well on my exam, despite my deepest concerns regarding my sincere lack of study-time). In the meantime, lots of news has been breaking out all over the place, and I’ve been letting it slide. But no longer! Here’s what’s new in the world of women’s health and midwifery news:

First, Merck has recently stated that they’re going to stop lobbying for state legislatures to adopt universal HPV vaccine requirements, in part because of all of the sudden bad press and objections to their lobbying efforts and their fear that continued lobbying would undermine use of the vaccine. Meanwhile, questions continue to arise regarding Merck’s financial invovlement with Texas Governor Rick Perry’s campaign. The CDC has also recently emphasized that no additional warning labels will be placed on Gardasil and that so far, all of the side effects reported with use of the vaccine (mostly inflammation reactions at the injection site and fainting) are low risk.

Since we’re on the subject of vaccines, it appears that research is now targeting Chlamydia for a new vaccine.

A post by Miriam Zoila Perez, the latest NAPW guest blogger, is up on Feministing regarding Radical Doulas.

The Mommy Blawg has a great break-down of all of the latest midwifery legislation being proposed in various states, particularly legislation working to legalize that status of direct-entry midwives (CPMs).

And finally, via Women’s Health News, Tenessee Representative Stacey Campfield has recently proposed legislation requiring a death certificate for each terminated pregnancy in the state of TN, while simultaneously not requiring death certificates for each spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) that occurs in the state of TN. In most states, death certificates aren’t issued until the baby reaches certain gestational age and/or weight requirements, such as 20 weeks, or 500 gms. Since most elected terminations occur during the first trimester, and most spontaneous miscarriages also occur during the first trimester, does it not seem a bit hypocritical to issue death certificates for one and not the other? Naturally, the Tennessee Guerilla Women have plenty to say on the subject. And while Campfield continues to look foolish by trying to deflect attention away from the nitty-gritty details of his bill, NARAL Pro-Choice America has joined the fray by setting up an online form for the women of Tennessee to contact their state representatives.

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