Amnesty International for choice?

The human-rights advocates may champion abortion rights. Plus: Women's magazines bad for all women?

Published March 30, 2007 12:55AM (EDT)

Science Daily: A new study has come out in "Sex Roles: A Journal of Research" that confirms what I've always believed. Women's magazines, those hundreds upon hundreds of pages of high-fashion photo spreads and advertising, are just plain bad for women. According to researchers at University of Missouri-Columbia, all women -- no matter whether their body type fits standards of perfection or rejection -- were equally and negatively affected by spending three minutes viewing pictures of models in magazines. The question remains: Why do women read these things?

Feminist Wire: Amnesty International U.K. seemed to breaking ranks with its fellow chapters when it voted in favor of the right to a safe and legal abortion. (In the past, the organization has maintained a neutral stance on abortion laws.) But the vote, which came in response to a rising number of repressive anti-abortion laws, is being used to test the waters about changing Amnesty's global position. The change would allow substantial legal influence to work on behalf of women who are being prosecuted or persecuted for having abortions. But the pro-lifers are already fighting it, exhorting followers to "take action" to express opposition. You, too, can take action by expressing support using contact information found on the Amnesty site.

Associated Press: The discovery of three abandoned babies who shared the same DNA in a small town in central California has led to an investigation which could lead to criminal charges against the mother. No mention of a search for the fathers.

SF Gate: One blogging Berkeley granny is seeking to embed. The 62-year-old peace activist is traveling to Iraq sans interpreter or income, and promises to write about the war for "real people."

Medical News Today: The new study of 80,000 nurses that found that aspirin not only reduces women's risk of death by heart attack and cancer, but unnamed other causes as well, had me scrounging for my Bayer. But after reading the critiques, the study's findings aren't nearly so convincing. Basically, other longitudinal studies, including one involving 40,000 women over 11 years, have found little correlation between aspirin and death risk. What's the difference? One editorial that accompanied the study suggested the answer might be found in other lifestyle differences between aspirin users and non-aspirin users. Hey, but if we all become aspirin users...

By Carol Lloyd

Carol Lloyd is currently at work on a book about the gentrification wars in San Francisco's Mission District.

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