OBOS in the News

Our Places, Ourselves

By Chelsea Garbell | The New York Jewish Week |

A revolutionary text in a revolutionary time when the idea of a woman naming and claiming her body and her sexuality for herself was just beginning to flourish, Our Bodies, Ourselves openly diagrammed reproductive organs and discussed abortion (which was illegal), virginity, orgasms, sexuality, birth control, childbirth, consent, and more.

A lesser known part of this story is that nine of those twelve women were Jewish. In the forty-eight years since the book was conceptualized and embedded in a movement, the world and women’s place in … More

’20th Century Women’ Review: Annette Bening Shines in Brilliant Mother-Son Drama

By Peter Travers | Rolling Stone |

Rarely has a film so ingeniously blended cultural artifacts into its storytelling DNA. Abbie, a cancer survivor buries her head in books about women’s health such as “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” a text that also instructs Jamie in the wonders of clitoral stimulation, a theory that baffles and annoys one of his male peers to the point of violent outburst.

Read the whole story: “20th Century Women” Review: Annette Bening Shines in Brilliant Mother-Son Drama

Past & Present: “Our Bodies, Ourselves” at 45


The Boston Collective argued that reproductive justice was at the forefront of women’s liberation. By combining personal stories with medical information, they wanted to make women more capable of evaluating and questioning medical institutions and acting as equal partners in their own healthcare decisions. A first of its kind, Our Bodies, Ourselves contained information on women’s health and sexuality, including sexual orientation, birth control, abortion, childbirth, domestic violence, and menopause. At the time, this information was readily available to physicians, but remained difficult to access … More

The surprising history of abortion in the United States


Since 1973, when Roe v. Wade legalized abortion across the United States, states have enacted more than 1,074 laws to limit access to the procedure, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive rights organization. More than a quarter of these laws passed between 2010 and 2015.

It wasn’t always like this, says Reagan, a professor of history, medicine, gender, women’s studies and law at the University of Illinois.

So how did we get here?

With the help of Reagan, author of “When Abortion Was a Crime,” … More

Our Bodies Ourselves Marches On, Into The 21st Century

Here & Now |

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with OBOS’ new executive director Julie Childers and co-founder Judy Norsigian about the impact and new vision of Our Bodies Ourselves.

“What is so distinctive and important about Our Bodies Ourselves is how we combine information about women’s bodies that leads to self-knowledge with political activism and with an understanding of how the social and political sphere influences how we live our lives,” Childers said.

Listen to the whole interview:  Our Bodies Ourselves Marches On, Into The 21st Century with … More

Nina Tassler

Boston University’s 143rd Commencement Address |

When I arrived on campus as a freshman, my father drove me in our faux-wood-paneled country squire station wagon from Florida to Boston. We carried my boxes and single suitcase up the stairs of a really nice brownstone at 37 Carlton Street in Brookline.

As we walked by the doors looking for my room, I noticed little cut-out flowers made of construction paper on each door. There were names written on each flower – women’s names – only women’s names. I very quickly realized that my … More

Who Do We Think We Are?

This American Life |

Soon after returning home from mosque, I had words to describe what I thought had happened to me. Female genital cutting. Female genital circumcision. Clitorectomy. Female genital mutilation, or FGM.

I sat with my copy of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” that my American aunt had given me. The book has photos and diagrams of female genitalia, and suggests using a mirror to be able to see and understand your body better. Locked in my bathroom with a hand mirror between my legs, I realized that there was … More

Our Bodies Ourselves hires new executive director

The Boston Globe |

The Boston Globe | April 28, 2016

It wasn’t so long ago that the group behind the groundbreaking book “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” was fighting for its financial life. Indeed, just last fall the Cambridge women’s health collective known as Our Bodies Ourselves announced that due to several factors — the Internet, dwindling grants, and the lack of a long-term financial plan — the organization was strapped for money and might have to close.

But a crowdfunding campaigned supported by the likes of Gloria Steinem … More

A Call For Protecting the Health of Women Who Donate Their Eggs

CommonHealth |

As couples and individuals continue to rely on assisted reproductive technology to overcome infertility, to make parenthood possible for gay couples and for other reasons, the demand for eggs is increasing swiftly. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of donor eggs used for in vitro fertilization increased about 70 percent per year, from 10,801 to 18,306, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

And although there are no exact figures for how many young women engage in egg-retrieval-for-pay, the numbers are … More