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NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 7, No. 10, October 1979
Page 7
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NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 7, No. 10, October 1979 - Page 7. October 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 20, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3891/show/3887.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(October 1979). NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 7, No. 10, October 1979 - Page 7. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3891/show/3887

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 7, No. 10, October 1979 - Page 7, October 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 20, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3891/show/3887.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 7, No. 10, October 1979
Publisher National Organization for Women, Bay Area Chapter
Date October 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • National Organization for Women
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .N682
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332563~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
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Title Page 7
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File Name femin_201109_390g.jpg
Transcript Do Doctors Hook Women on Drags? Women's addiction to legally prescribed drugs—often in combination with alcohol—is being exposed as a major public-health problem. As a result, Congress may move to require I hut prescription-drug labels describe potential side effects. Among the findings of two mid September congressional probes: ■ Roughly 60 percent of all drug- related visits to hospital emergency rooms are made by women. ■ The No. 1 drug that women take in overdoses is Valium, the U.S.'s most widely prescribed pill. New evidence g U-S.NEWS & WORLD REPORT, suggests that the tranquilizer may be addictive even if taken only briefly. ■ Eighty-five percent of women under treatment for drug problems have combined one mood-altering drug with another or with alcohol. ■ Doctors who don't specialize in psychological problems prescribe 97 percent of the mood drugs taken by women. Usually women are not advised of side effects of the drugs. Representative Cardiss Collins (D- 111.) claimed doctors are partly to blame for women's drug problems. "It is not uncommon," the congresswoman said, "for a doctor to advise a male patient to work out his problem in the gym or on the golf course, while a female with the same symptoms is likely to be given a prescription for Valium." □ Sept. 24, 1979 Health in women and women in health "The plain, indefensible truth is that ... women are second-class citizens in alf aspects of the health care system" — so Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) opened the August 1 hearing before the Senate health and scientific research subcommittee on women in health and science. Kennedy lambasted current health insurance programs that "often tie coverage of married women to their relationships with their husbands." He then cited recent studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association (241: 2186-2187) showing that male physicians take medical illness more seriously in men than in women, and that they give men more extensive medical examinations. Finally, Kennedy condemned the condition of women scientists in the United States, where unemployment among them is five times higher than among their male counterparts. "Less than 10 percent of the nation's physicians, 3.4 percent of the dentists, and only 11.9 percent of the pharmacists are women," said Linda Ray Murray of Chicago's Cook County Hospital. Sidney M. Wolfe, head of the Public Citizen's Health Research Group, took Ken- Edit vJk'Jteft on our S^ f. f>ro<tr«m\ nedy's criticism of women's health care a step further. He said that the over-prescription of "minor tranquilizers," including Valium, and of the hormones estrogen and progesterone "have the potential to and actually succeed in making healthy women sick." Women aged 20 to 39 are given 2.2 times more tranquilizers than men the same age, he said. The continued prescription of des (diethylstilbestrol), a synthetic estrogen used both as an emergency contraceptive and to prevent miscarriage, and believed to cause cancer in women and their children, "is an open and shut case of malpractice," he said. The Food and Drug Administration has included a warning in des packages against possible hazards, but Wolfe called these warnings inadequate. He went on to condemn the use of estrogens and progestins in general. Women using these hormones appear to have higher rates of cancer, blood clots, hypertension, gall bladder disease and, as reported in the July 21 Lancet, higher cholesterol and triglyceride levels that could lead to heart attacks (SN: 4/14/79, p. 247). Author Barbara Seaman, co-founder of the National Women's Health Network, agreed with Wolfe on the dangers of using hormones as birth control. She accused the fda of ignoring "harmless methods of contraception," such as the cervical cap (widely used in Europe), which is safe, cheap and convenient. The cap fits over the cervix and acts as a barrier to sperm, as does the diaphragm, but the cap has one important advantage — it requires little or no spermicide. For that reason, Seaman says, U.S. companies that manufacture the diaphragm are not interested in developing the cap. Spermicidal jelly is the profitable feature of the diaphragm, she says. Further, the cap could be fitted by a paramedic or a nurse, eliminating costly visits to a doctor. An fda panel on contraceptives has classified the cap as "not to be used as contraceptive... because its effectiveness for this use has not been proven in the United States." Research is now underway in many states. Seaman also added to Wolfe's testimony on drugs, noting that neuroleptics (anti- schizophrenic agents) such as Thorazine, Mellaril and Prolixin, have been associated with a seemingly permanent nerve disorder known as "tardive dyskenesia" in about half the patients who use them. Two- thirds of the prescriptions for neuroleptics are written for women, she says. Eleanor C. Smeal, president of the National Organization for Women, blames "the male domination of the medical establishment" for the situation. While the high frequency of certain operations unique to women — hysterectomies, ceasarean sections and radical mastectomies — is only beginning to be questioned, she warned that continued sex- stereotyping of women in medicine affects their families as well — women are the medical "brokers" for them also. D