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Opinion: IVAWA Marks 'First Step' Towards Making Women Central Focus Of U.S. Foreign Policy

In a Politico opinion piece, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), lead sponsors of the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), together with Larry Cox and Kerry Kennedy of Amnesty International USA, reflect on the significance of the legislation introduced in the House and Senate on Thursday. "Introduction of this bill supports the efforts of President Obama and Secretary Clinton to rightly put women at the very center of a broad global security agenda that factors in the great challenges of our decade and invests in the world's peacemakers, " the authors write before describing how the legislation would work to improve the lives of women and girls around the world.

New Program Sends Text Messages To Promote Maternal, Infant Health

The White House on Thursday announced a new health education program that will deliver pregnancy advice to women via text messages, the Los Angeles Times ' "Technology" reports (Guynn, "Technology, " Los Angeles Times, 2/4). The program -- called "text4baby" -- is sponsored by the federal government, the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, wireless providers and several health industry companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, WellPoint and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. The campaign is reportedly the first national no-cost health education program using cell phones, which are owned by 90% of U.S. residents, sponsors say.

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Siemens Showcases New Dedicated Women's Imaging Ultrasound Platforms At SMFM

Featuring the new release of its premium ACUSON S2000™ ultrasound system - Women's Imaging and ACUSON X300™ ultrasound system, premium edition (PE) - Women's Imaging, Siemens Healthcare (booth #813) will highlight the latest innovations in OB/GYN imaging at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's (SMFM) 30th Annual Meeting in Chicago. Siemens will be showcasing advanced clinical applications that bring a new dimension of diagnosis and workflow enhancements to fetal ultrasound. The ACUSON S2000 ultrasound system - Women's Imaging represents the pinnacle of innovative technologies and workflow-enhancing clinical applications, which dramatically improve the efficiency and quality of ultrasound exams.

Bipartisan Legislation In House, Senate Targets Violence Against Women Worldwide

Members of the U.S. House and Senate on Thursday introduced the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), a bill that "would make violence against women worldwide a priority of the United States government and an enhanced component of its foreign policy and foreign assistance programmes, " Inter Press Service reports (Fromm, 2/4). "The measure, which enjoys the backing of lawmakers from both major U.S. parties, " would allocate $175 million a year over five years "to go towards developing programs to combat violence against women in as many as 20 low-income countries where it is a serious problem, " Agence France-Presse reports. The bill would "create a specialized office in the U.

Blogs Comments On Haitian Earthquake, Super Bowl Ad, Other Topics

The following summarizes selected women's health-related blog entries. ~ "We Can't Overlook Reproductive Health Needs in Haiti, " Sharon Camp, RH Reality Check: Camp, president and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute, writes that the Haitian earthquake has created "displacement" within the culture, where "the health and lives of Haiti's women and girls -- many of whom were already in a precarious situation because of poverty or low social status -- are threatened by severe living conditions, including the virtual absence of reproductive health services." According to Camp, "Most immediately, there is an urgent need for clean delivery kits to ensure that childbirth is safe for mothers and their newborns.

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Senate Democrats Considering Recess Appointments For Obama Nominees

Faced with the loss of a 60-seat supermajority in the Senate, congressional Democrats on Thursday began to discuss using recess appointments to advance some of President Obama's stalled nominees, such as Dawn Johnsen, who has twice been nominated to head the Office of Legal Councel at the Department of Justice, CQ Today reports. The Senate is scheduled to begin its Presidents Day recess at the end of next week. According to CQ Today, the election of Republican Sen. Scott Brown (Mass.) will make it difficult for Democrats in the Senate to gather the 60 votes needed to limit floor debate. In addition, the GOP "displayed newfound resolve" on nominees Thursday when Sens.

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