Association Of Reproductive Health Professionals Release: Reproductive Health 2004 To Feature New Medical Advances And Updates On Government Policy Threats

WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Access to reproductive health services, new medical technologies, and clinical practice advances are significantly improving women's health while restrictive governmental policies threaten the progress in all areas. These factors -- all critical to the health and well-being of women and their families -- will take center stage at Reproductive Health 2004, the official annual meeting for both the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) and the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) to be held September 8-11, 2004 in Washington, DC at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. More than 600 reproductive health care clinicians, administrators and advocates from across the country are expected to attend.

"The fate of access to reproductive health services and research into new technologies hangs in the balance," declares Judith DeSarno, president and chief executive officer of NFPRHA. "Clinics providing family planning services are being squeezed financially and burdened with restrictions to care. Public health funding is being redirected to advance 'abstinence-unless-married' education programs. The NFPRHA/ARHP National Conference will explain the risks facing services and offer in-depth political analysis and cutting edge clinical information. Our program will focus on the politics, research, programs, and practice of family planning."

"Women's reproductive health is at a critical juncture," said Wayne C. Shields, president and chief executive officer of ARHP. "New research and technologies are changing clinical practice standards at a rapid pace, challenging women's health care providers to keep up. At the same time, reproductive health science and practice issues are being undermined politically at unprecedented levels. Our national conference will offer a comprehensive combination of clinical education on new research and practice trends, and the latest news on reproductive health policy and advocacy."

Reproductive Health 2004 also marks a new collaboration between ARHP and NFPRHA, in association with the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health and Planned Parenthood(R) Federation of America.

  Clinical conference highlights include:
  *  Pre-Conference:  New Understanding of Intrauterine Contraception
     Wed., Sept. 8, 2004, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

     While intrauterine contraception (IUC) is used by millions of women
     worldwide, its use in the United States has been hampered largely by
     persistent myths associated with adverse events. Recent research is
     helping to dispel these myths and is prompting a new look by providers
     at IUCs, which can potentially make this highly-effective, easy-to-use
     form of contraception accessible to more women.

  *  Evidence-Based Medical Abortion Therapies
     Thurs., Sept. 9, 2004, 9:30-10:15 a.m.

     While currently FDA-approved regimens for non-surgical abortion take at
     least three days to complete, breakthrough research now suggests that
     an alternative use of the two medications can safely produce an
     abortion in as little as 6-8 hours -- potentially making this
     non-invasive option even more appealing to women who choose to
     terminate pregnancy. Renowned researcher Mitchell D. Creinin, MD, of
     the University of Pittsburgh will discuss his latest findings and their

  *  Menopausal Issues and Therapies
     Thurs., Sept. 9, 2004, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

     When the Women's Health Initiative halted its studies on hormone
     therapy in postmenopausal women recently, the move unleashed a wave of
     confusion and panic among women, and uncertainty among clinicians over
     how to interpret the findings and guide their patients. Now, a
     comprehensive new review from ARHP, developed with a panel of medical
     experts, sets the record straight on what the study did -- and did
     not -- find, outlines recommendations for further research on hormone
     therapy, and provides clinicians with new tips for counseling patients.

  Policy highlights of the conference include:

  *  The Politicizing of Science and the Demonizing of Reproductive Health,
     by Rep. Henry Waxman
     Thurs., Sept. 9, 2004, 8:00-9:00 a.m.

     Rep. Waxman will deliver the 2004 Cushner Lectureship focused on recent
     efforts by the Bush Administration to distort scientific fact -- and
     undercut women's access to reproductive healthcare -- in the pursuit of
     a political and ideological agenda. He will discuss political and
     policy moves since his committee released its report, Politics and
     Science in the Bush Administration. The report identified political
     interference with science that has led to misleading statements by the
     President, altered Web sites, suppressed agency reports, erroneous
     international communications, and the gagging of scientists.

  *  The Election is Upon Us and There is A Lot at Stake
     Thurs., Sept. 9, 2004, 9:30-10:00 a.m.

     Amy Walter, U.S. House Editor for The Cook Political Report and
     political analyst for CNN, is a professional handicapper of political
     races. Ms. Walter will give an overview and specifics of the upcoming
     November elections and the factors that are at play.

Complete information on Reproductive Health 2004 is available at Registration is complimentary for credentialed news media; however, only working reporters, editors or broadcast news organizations will be permitted to register on-site in Washington, DC. For press registration information and a media kit, please contact Ann McCall, ARHP communications and policy manager, at 202-466-3825 or

ARHP is multidisciplinary association composed of professionals who provide reproductive health services or education, conduct reproductive health research, or influence reproductive health policy. ARHP, founded in 1963, has a mission to educate health care professionals, public policy makers, and the public. The organization fosters research and advocacy to promote reproductive health.

Founded in 1971, National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA), is a non-profit membership organization composed of clinicians, administrators, researchers, educators, advocates and consumers. NFPRHA's mission is to ensure access to voluntary, confidential family planning and other sexual and reproductive health services and to support reproductive freedom for all. NFPRHA members provide subsidized reproductive health care to over five million low-income women each year. They do so at more than 4600 clinics; hospitals; and state, county and local health facilities nationwide.

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals

CONTACT: Ann McCall of ARHP, +1-202-466-3825, or

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