Insight News

Aug 30th


President Obama didn’t get it right on the birth control compromise

President Obama didn’t get it right on the birth control compromise

This time I think President Obama got it wrong.  I understand why he made the compromise he did—to avoid a religious-inflamed political battle.  But I wished he hadn’t taken the road of compromise. In doing so, he’s done a disservice to women’s right to choose what happens to our bodies.

Right now, it feels like 1972 before the advent of Roe v. Wade.  This ruling by the Supreme Court overturned a Texas interpretation of abortion law and made abortions legal for women. But at the heart of Roe v. Wade was women’s right to choose what happens to their bodies as backed by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which prohibits government from enacting laws that infringe upon a person’s right to the pursuit of life, liberty and property.  “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”


Time to talk about colon cancer

When is the last time you talked about colon cancer? It’s a disease no one wants to talk about, yet it is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. A lot of work has gone into bringing awareness to this disease, but because it deals with part of the body that our society is uncomfortable talking about, many suffer needlessly because they postponed a colonoscopy or neglected it altogether.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and a great opportunity to openly discuss the disease and learn how we can prevent it. Understanding risk factors, symptoms, and screening options will not only help in avoiding the disease, but could mean the difference between life and death.


How toxic is Black hair care?

Little attention has been paid to the connection between African American beauty products and adverse health outcomes. Recent studies suggest that may change.  "Take the kinks out of your mind,” intoned Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), “instead of out of your hair.”

As founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), Garvey refused advertisements for products to lighten the skin and straighten the hair of African Americans in The Negro World, the UNIA’s newspaper. That was “back in the day” – between 1918 and 1933 – when the paper had a circulation estimated at close to 200,000 per week.


National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Recent scientific advances give us renewed hope that an end to the AIDS epidemic is within our reach, but we cannot allow ourselves to lose our sense of urgency in addressing the heavy burden of HIV/AIDS among Black Americans. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day reminds us that though we have come a long way over the past 30 years, we have so much left to achieve, and the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) – to be held in Washington, D.C. from July 22-27 – will be an opportunity to re-focus the agenda on the U.S., particularly among hard-hit communities, including Black Americans.


Health Partners initiative increases fruit, vegetable intake

A pilot program designed to increase fruit and vegetable intake among elementary school students is being put to the test by Saint Paul Public Schools and HealthPartners.  Approximately 7,500 students in 21 schools are participating in the program including nine Saint Paul Public Schools.

"Research shows that habits established in elementary school often last a lifetime, so this is a great opportunity to help reverse the obesity epidemic in our community and our nation," says Valeria Silva, Saint Paul Public School Superintendent.


Poll reveals deep support for food stamps, opposition to cutting the program

By an overwhelming margin, American voters oppose cutting food stamp assistance (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) as a way to reduce government spending, according to new poll data released recently by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). Seventy-seven percent of voters say this is the wrong way to reduce spending and only 15 percent favor cutting such assistance.


Aiken Elected to National Kidney Foundation's National Board of Directors.

Aiken Elected to National Kidney Foundation's National Board of Directors.


After experiencing kidney disease, dialysis, receiving a kidney transplant and becoming involved with the National Kidney Foundation serving Minnesota, the Dakotas and Iowa, Jerome Bill Aiken remains focused on giving back -- this time, at a National level.    The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) announced Aiken, current Chairman of the National Kidney Foundation’s Minnesota Board of Directors, was named to NKF’s 2012 National Board of Directors.  Aiken was also elected Chairman of NKF’s National Leadership Council Committee.

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