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Ellen R. Shaffer
Ellen R. Shaffer is Co-Director of the Center for Policy Analysis which conducts policy research and analysis on access to health care, on reproductive health, and on globalization and health. It sponsors the Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign for reproductive health, rights and justice. She blogs on these issues at The EQUAL campaign for Equitable, Quality, Universal, Affordable addresses health reform: . Dr. Shaffer served as the senior health policy advisor to U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone from 1992 to 1995, guiding staff work on national health care reform and for managed care patients' rights. She has written a proposal for a state-based universal health service, under a grant from the California Health Care Options Project. The proposal extends her work with U.S. Representative Barbara Lee on H.R. 3080, the U.S. Universal Health Service Act. She also co-directs the Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH), a project of the Center for Policy Analysis, and explores the links between international trade agreements, vital human services and health. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco, and a member of the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association. Projects have included the politics chapter for Our Bodies Ourselves, a review of the literature on medication errors, a survey of state policies on neonatal intensive care units, dissertation research on deregionalization of neonatal intensive care units in California, a book chapter on the impact of the changing health care system on women with breast cancer, and studies on the implications of health care reform proposals for California immigrants and for other low-income workers. She has a Masters in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley, a Ph.D. from the School of Hygiene and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, and is a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist.

Entries by Ellen R. Shaffer

Celebrating Women's Day, Winning on Reproductive Rights

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 3:18 PM

Silence equals death.

California AIDS activists taught the world the power of plain and direct talk about gender bias and sexuality to save lives.

The ability to control whether and when to have a child are key to the physical, social and economic health of women and families, and access...

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Abortion Rights: We Can Handle the Truth

(1) Comments | Posted January 17, 2014 | 3:49 PM


When it comes to abortion rights, we can handle the truth.

Many are stunned to see banners falsely claiming that "abortion hurts women" hanging from the city's publicly managed lamp posts on Market Street in San Francisco.

The Roe v Wade...

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Tobacco: Symbol of Corrupt Trade Policy

(4) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 10:21 AM

The deadly tobacco industry increasingly deploys trade charges intended to bludgeon countries from Uruguay to Australia into abandoning policies that keep kids from getting addicted, and help smokers quit, as well documented in the New York Times.

The U.S. Trade Representative should fix this problem during negotiations on...

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Stop TPP Protections for Big Tobacco

(5) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 10:28 PM

The U.S. has a rare opportunity this week to rein in the tobacco industry, and assert its mandate to protect and save lives, while proudly exercising cross-border diplomacy. The U.S. Trade Representative should accept a proposal to carve protections for Big Tobacco out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a...

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Top 10 Problems With a 20-Week Abortion Ban

(2) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 7:15 PM

The same Congress that failed to popularize rape, can't stop themselves from attacking immigrants, and votes to shut down government funds for food stamps and cut Medicare while shoveling subsidies to agribusiness and drug companies -- they have a new plan to divide and conquer: the 20-week abortion ban. What...

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Tahrir to Occupy and Back: Now What?

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2013 | 1:01 PM

Some observations en route:

We have not evolved organizational political forms that allow/encourage humans to distribute power, and in particular to interact effectively with agency and respect, to integrate, accommodate, and where appropriate discard minority interests.

We can communicate online at warp speed to organize: protests and expressions...

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On Women's Day: We Need to Focus on Birth Control

(3) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 7:55 PM

Women and men of all races and religions turned out in droves in November to reject ignorant bigoted candidates who professed that God sanctions rape. After two years of attacks in Congress and the states on birth control and abortion, we showed that many voters respond positively to hearing about...

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The Zipless Election of 2012

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2012 | 11:09 AM

2012 was a zipless election. Although the public was demonstrably present for the experience, somehow we didn't feel completely engaged.

It seemed to morph into a contest between dirty tricks and voter suppression tactics on one side, countered by techno wizardry and micro-sampling of key voters in...

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Abortion: Raddatz Elicits VP and Ryan's Real, True, Unvarnished Positions

(3) Comments | Posted October 12, 2012 | 1:54 PM

Let's hear it for Martha Raddatz, the brilliantly skillful moderator of the vice-presidential debate: She got a clear yes from Rep. Paul Ryan to this question: "If the Romney-Ryan ticket is elected, should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried?"

But first,...

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Women, Choice and Power

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2012 | 11:51 AM

Turns out, women are a key voting bloc in the upcoming election. It's up to us to demand credible commitments that address our concerns, as we get each other engaged and voting.

While this election offers women a clear choice, polls show the two parties running neck and neck. Here's...

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I Know It's Only Birth Control, But I Like It -- And So Do You

(27) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 12:10 PM

The Gallup poll from May says a lot about what is at stake politically on the issue of birth control: It's a slam-dunk winner for anyone who supports it. Birth control is considered morally acceptable by 90 percent of Americans. Not only that. It is considered morally acceptable...

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Mr. President: Campaign on Health Care!

(3) Comments | Posted July 1, 2012 | 5:46 PM

Dear Mr. President:

You won on health care. Campaign on it.

You won historic legislation in 2010. Your advisers told you to change the subject and campaign on the economy. You lost the mid-term elections, big time.

You won a victory in the Supreme Court this week. The same advisers...

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Single Payer Declared As Supremes Nix the Mandate

(2) Comments | Posted April 3, 2012 | 1:05 PM

On the heels of the Supreme Court decision on June 15, 2012, invalidating the individual mandate provisions of the health care reform law, the President and Congress took swift action to implement a Single Payer system. Asked to define a single payer system, the President said, "Well, you know, sort...

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Have Republicans Gone Bananas?

(11) Comments | Posted February 14, 2012 | 10:50 AM

You thought the contraception war was over. On Friday the president announced a plan that would allow employees to be covered for contraception at no extra cost, but keep Catholic employers removed from the transaction. The Catholic Hospital Association likes the plan. Most Catholics like the plan, including...

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Who Won? We Will

(2) Comments | Posted February 10, 2012 | 5:44 PM

It's been a roller coaster month for women's health, and it's not over yet.

Congressional Republicans and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops vow to continue their attacks on coverage for birth control. Most of us use birth control, including most Catholics. Well over half of all women who...

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Do Republicans Have Sex?

(36) Comments | Posted February 8, 2012 | 7:39 PM

Ok let's get down to brass tacks. We know the Republicans are mostly just playing politics with women's health. If we stop them from bashing birth control they'll find something else. But now that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the California ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, it...

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Um, the Other Thing About Komen and Planned Parenthood...

(92) Comments | Posted February 3, 2012 | 5:22 PM

By Thursday we all learned a lot about Komen, and Planned Parenthood and breast cancer. We might have started to learn what it will take to mobilize the outcry it will take to really stop the attacks on women's health.

We heard about Komen flacking for unsafe drugs...

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Why I'm "Marching" for Trust Women Week

(3) Comments | Posted January 31, 2012 | 11:49 AM

The Hyde amendment banned spending federal funds on abortion and I didn't speak out because I didn't use Medicaid.

They restricted access to abortion for residents of D.C., but I didn't speak out because I didn't live in D.C.

The House voted to take away Title X...

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San Francisco Banners Highlight Trust Women Week

(2) Comments | Posted January 12, 2012 | 3:24 PM

Many women are angry that our health is being used as a political football, in attempts to divert attention away from the troubled economy. We need the government to fix the economy and to fund vital basic health services, and to quit interfering with our private decisions about our reproductive...

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We Are All an 11-year-old Girl -- And She Is Pissed

(5) Comments | Posted December 8, 2011 | 3:07 PM

Women are the last remaining voting majority who are treated like a splinter group. It will stay that way until we stand up for ourselves, together, and demand power.

The Democrats drove us away from the polls in 2010, and they're getting ready to do it again. It's okay, though....

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