September 22, 2023

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Our Bodies Ourselves Today is a new spin on an old faithful

Our Bodies Ourselves Today is a new spin on an old faithful

Well being

The group — affiliated with but individual from Our Bodies Ourselves, which released the landmark ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’ textbooks — launched an on-line source on reproductive wellness in September.

Customers of the original Our Bodies Ourselves, a nonprofit, public curiosity firm centered in Cambridge, pictured in 2018. Courtesy of She’s Attractive When She’s Offended

In 1970, a nonprofit business termed Our Bodies Ourselves posted a book called “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” A feminist classic, the ebook (and its subsequent editions) includes info on a range of features of women’s well being, reproductive wellness, and gender and sexuality. The e book, termed “America’s greatest-offering reserve on all areas of women’s health” by The New York Instances, encourages girls to rejoice their sexuality and take cost of their reproductive rights and health and fitness.

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Fifty several years afterwards, Our Bodies Ourselves These days, an firm out of the Centre for Women’s Wellbeing and Human Legal rights at Suffolk College, has created an on line platform in the mission of the books to provide a dependable and inclusive useful resource for individuals in search of information about wellness and sexuality. 

“Our Bodies Ourselves These days — the website — is responding to a new issue, which is that there is practically far too substantially facts. It is pretty difficult to tell what is precise, proof-based facts as opposed to what is information and facts funded by pharmaceutical businesses or info that has some type of agenda behind it,” explained Saniya Lee Ghanoui, program director at Our Bodies Ourselves These days. 

Our Bodies Ourselves Currently was born in 2018 soon after Our Bodies Ourselves introduced they had been no lengthier developing new editions of the guides. At that time, Amy Agigian, now the govt director of Our Bodies Ourselves Right now and an affiliate professor of sociology at Suffolk, recommended building an adjacent business that could get the job done to remodel the guides into an interactive internet site. They hope to carry on what the original “Our Bodies, Ourselves” textbooks meant to men and women and how very important they ended up to how men and women realized about their wellness and sexuality.

The web-site, introduced in September, delivers info across mediums in matter regions such as contraception and abortion, gender-primarily based violence, developing more mature, heart well being, menstruation by menopause, mental wellness, pregnancy and childbirth, sexual anatomy, and sexuality. 

“If you have any question about your physique, no matter if that’s your coronary heart wellbeing, your menstrual cycle, you are expecting and you want to know what to expect throughout your pregnancy, you can come to Our Bodies Ourselves Now and uncover facts that is very important for you and that truly assists construct a community for you,” Ghanoui reported. 

She hopes that in the way the guides remained appropriate and vital for 50 several years (and counting), the web-site will have momentum for a long time to come. They are updating the internet site on a month-to-month foundation, which she pointed to as a person of the most important strengths to getting a digital platform for information and facts somewhat than a print a person.

“Unlike a reserve — once it goes to a publisher and it is printed, you cannot definitely adjust it — we’re generating positive our site is up to day. We’re starting up with regular monthly updates with the intent to make people updates a lot more typically … preserving that internet site regularly shifting and interactive and engaged with our viewers is incredibly crucial,” Ghanoui stated.

Our Bodies Ourselves These days is also tackling outreach distinct to abortion in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade this summer season, a Supreme Court conclusion that authorized states to ban abortion. They are in the early stages of setting up a precise segment of the web site focused to abortion that would deliver up to day information on abortion in each and every condition, as properly as sources like judicial bypass varieties. 

“Abortion experienced always been very important to Our Bodies Ourselves Today, but it seriously re-emphaized the need to have to make absolutely sure that data is front and center,” Ghanoui stated.

With a consistently shifting legal and political landscape, keeping the facts obvious and up to date will be key, she additional. 

Our Bodies Ourselves Currently is also organizing the production of a podcast to depth not only the record of Our Bodies Ourselves but wherever they are in the present movement for reproductive well being and liberty. 

“We search to carry out interviews with not only our articles gurus but activists in reproductive justice and folks who, across the board, align with the mission of Our Bodies Ourselves Today,” Ghanoui claimed. “It’s yet another sort of storytelling and yet another way of obtaining information and facts out to readers and users of our site.” 

Considering that Sept. 9, when the web page released, Ghanoui has only more understood the value of a resource like this. Amid a rocky political landscape that involves the reduction of accessibility to legal rights which include abortion, furthermore limits on information like banned textbooks, receiving details to people today is a lot more vital than ever, she stated.

“We know that info and instruction is power — if it was not, folks would not be hoping to stop it,” Ghanoui said. “It’s definitely important that folks have entry to this facts. We know there are challenges proper now and there will be challenges forward and we are carrying out every little thing in our electricity to confront those and make absolutely sure persons have obtain to this data that they require.”