Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hysterectomy is a Feminist Issue: 1 in 3

The Ms. Magazine Blog now features an article I wrote that gives some of the shocking information about the epidemic of hysterectomy. I have been amazed for a long time that this most feminist of issues is not on the radar of feminist organizations despite the huge impact of these surgeries on women's health, well-being and relationships.  I've struggled to understand why. Partly, I think, it's because the surgery is simply so common. Breast cancer advocates have made women very aware that their life-time risk is 1 in 8. But consider: 1 in 3 women 60 and older no longer has a uterus!

That's right, 1 in 3. It's just about a right of passage for older women.

But as I say in the Ms. blog, we who are the 1 in 3 have got to speak up. We can't let this continue. Keeping our condition a secret because we're embarrassed, afraid of being regarded as less of a woman, or as being too unaware to prevent our doctors from doing this to us--well, we've just got to get over that the same way women who've lost a breast have done so bravely.

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