Together We Can Educate Congress
Congress frequently addresses complex issues that affect women's health, but sometimes the best available scientific evidence isn't known or used as a basis for creating policy. "Our Bodies, Ourselves" to the rescue!
With your help, we'll provide every member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate with accurate, evidence-based information about women's bodies and reproductive health -- and work to ensure that related legislation is based on this information. It's a win-win!
"Our Bodies, Ourselves" is a valued resource, used in health care clinics and academic courses across the country, and well-loved by generations of readers.
The new edition, the result of two years of research and careful review by medical experts and readers, focuses on topics that are sometimes misrepresented or misunderstood: pregnancy, childbirth, gender identity, sexual orientation, birth control, abortion, sexual health as women age, menopause, breast and ovarian cancers, and the effects of environmental toxins on women's health and fetal development.
When you back this project, you're educating Congress and supporting a respected public interest organization that has provided readers with indispensable information on women's health for more than 40 years.
Our Bodies Ourselves is a nonprofit tax-exempt 501(C)(3) organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Why Members of Congress Need "Our Bodies, Ourselves"
From what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape is] really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
-Rep. Todd Akin, Aug. 19, 2012
Those words, which greatly misrepresent how women's bodies work, sparked a road trip to Missouri to deliver "Our Bodies, Ourselves" to Rep. Todd Akin and Sen. Claire McCaskill (equal-opportunity information!). But Rep. Akin was hardly the first member of Congress who had his facts wrong; nor will he be the last.
Every year, law makers vote on dozens of bills that affect women's health, taking on difficult issues that have a very real effect on women and families.
Readers suggested providing "Our Bodies, Ourselves" to everyone involved in writing laws that affect women, thus ensuring that access to accurate information is available in every office on Capitol Hill.
This information could help inform policies on maternal health, preventive care, and access to contraception, abortion and the full range of reproductive health services. It also could serve as a resource on violence against women and a host of other issues that come up before Congress.
Together we can ensure that terms like "legitimate rape" are removed from the lexicon and all legislators possess an accurate understanding of how birth control works and its health benefits.
Your Role as an Educator
Your support will contribute to the purchase and distribution of 535 books for members of Congress, plus books for key members of the administration and government agencies whose work involves health care policy.
You can choose which representative or senator (or multiple members) receive a book from you! (You'll receive a questionnaire at the end of the campaign asking for your selection.) And you'll be able to show that you helped to educate Congress.
If you want to give more, you'll receive a copy of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" for you or a friend, and even get your copy signed by Gloria Steinem or OBOS founder Judy Norsigian -- women who know something about the importance of creating movements and the power of sharing stories and accurate information.
Plus! For every $1,000 above our $25,000 goal, five reproductive health clinics serving low-income women will receive copies of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" to distribute. If we reach $30,000, OBOS will be able to expand its work with supportive alumni to distribute "Our Bodies, Ourselves" free of charge to high school libraries and colleges.
We're confident that with your support, we can do a great deal more to provide accurate information on reproductive health to communities that need it most.
More About the Book and the Organization
History & Credibility: The Library of Congress selected the original 1971 edition as one of 88 books included in the 2012 Books that Shaped America exhibition. Time magazine named it one of the 100 best nonfiction books published since Time's founding in 1923. Library Journal named the new, 2011 edition (the one we want to send to law makers) one of the eight best consumer health books of the year.
Public Advocacy: In addition to developing information, the organization Our Bodies Ourselves advocates for policies that protect girls' and women's well-being and enhance reproductive health in the United States and abroad. OBOS's work, which includes testifying before Congress, addresses the social, economic and political conditions that affect health care access and quality of care.
Global Reach: OBOS's small staff collaborates with women's groups worldwide, from Tibet to Tanzania, to develop health resources in communities where information on women's health, sexuality and rights is scarce or altogether lacking. Just last year, a group of Jewish and Palestinian women in Israel worked together on the simultaneous launch of Arabic and Hebrew adaptations of "Our Bodies, Ourselves."
Spread the Word
You can also contribute by sharing this campaign on your website and with your networks. Together we can educate Congress -- and help inform legislation that affects all of us!