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Jodi Jacobson
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Jodi L. Jacobson is a long-time leader in the health and development community and an advocate with extensive experience in public health, gender equity, human rights, environment and demographic issues. She is currently Editor-in-Chief of RH Reality Check.

Previously, Ms. Jacobson was the Director of Advocacy at American Jewish World Service, where she is established a new department, leading the organization’s efforts to mobilize the American Jewish community toward ending the genocide in Darfur, fighting global AIDS, ensuring access to quality basic education worldwide, addressing the global food crisis, and promoting global debt relief and effective anti-poverty policies, among other issues.

Before joining AJWS, Jodi served as founder and Executive Director for 13 years of the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) (est. 1994), an organization that monitors and seeks to promote accountability of US international policy to women’s reproductive and sexual health and rights. During Ms. Jacobson’s tenure, CHANGE grew into an internationally known advocacy organization on public health and human rights, produced cutting-edge research on international policies and programs, and became a leading source of information and advocacy for international and domestic movements, academics, program managers and the media. Under Ms. Jacobson’s leadership, CHANGE developed an outreach list of researchers, advocates, and policymakers throughout the world, and a media contact list of over 2,000 reporters representing every region of the world. As ED at CHANGE, Ms. Jacobson was an invited speaker at 3 consecutive global HIV/AIDS conferences and at numerous regional conferences, and was an advisor on US global AIDS and reproductive health policies to parliamentarians and government officials in the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Ms. Jacobson is frequently sought out by the media for comment on issues related to public health. She has been quoted extensively the Lancet, BMJ and The Economist and national daily news media including The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. She has written numerous articles and papers, and is the co-author of 10 books, including 8 volumes of State of the World, and others such as Women's Empowerment and Demographic Processes: Moving Beyond Cairo (Edited by Harriet Presser and Gita Sen, 2000, Oxford University Press).

Prior to establishing CHANGE, Ms. Jacobson was a consultant to numerous organizations in the environmental and reproductive health and population fields, including the International Women's Health Coalition, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Population Council, and the Women's Environment and Development Organization. Her previous work experience includes a position as Senior Policy Analyst for Energy and Environment at the National Governor's Association (fellowship), and as a Senior Researcher at the WorldWatch Institute (1985 to 1994) where she did groundbreaking work on international environment and population issues.

Ms. Jacobson has testified before Congress on several occasions, has been a principal player in the 2006 and 2004 International AIDS Conferences (Toronto and Bangkok) and was a member of two United Nations Expert Groups on Population and Development leading up to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). She was active in both the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, and in U.S. preparations leading up to the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women. Ms. Jacobson has degrees in economics and environmental science and many years of practical and professional experience in public health.

Blog Entries by Jodi Jacobson

Why "Free Birth Control" Is Not Free

(16) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 10:13 AM

Aug. 1, 2012, was a momentous day for women, marking the official beginning of a process of ensuring that millions of women across the United States will -- finally -- have access to a full range of preventive health care services without a co-pay.

These include a wide range of...

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Dear Mr. Beck: We Are All Hookers

(7) Comments | Posted April 12, 2011 | 7:10 PM

Dear Mr. Beck,

I understand it is your contention that "only hookers go to Planned Parenthood."

There must be a lot of hookers out here. 

I am one of them.

When I was in college, I went to a Planned Parenthood for a pelvic exam, and for my...

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GOP War on Women Goes Global

(4) Comments | Posted March 9, 2011 | 10:52 AM

The GOP war on women has gone global. Contained in the Continuing Resolution (CR) passed by the House of Representatives, among the severe cuts in publicly-funded domestic programs affecting corporate oversight, legal aid for the poor, food safety, community health centers,...

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Why a Soccer Momma for Obama Hung Up Her Cleats

(59) Comments | Posted October 31, 2010 | 12:11 PM

I was a soccer mama for Obama.

And depending on the day and the kids in my car, I was a hockey mama or a baseball mama.

But sometime this year, I hung up my cleats.  And I think losing me is a big problem for the Democrats.

It's not...

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"Third Way" Goes the Wrong Way on Abortion Restrictions in Health Reform

(2) Comments | Posted August 5, 2010 | 7:26 PM

Originally published by RH Reality Check.

At this point it's not news to anyone that our ostensibly pro-choice President has presided, through a combination of silence and pre-emptive capitulation, over some of the greatest setbacks to women's reproductive rights in more than a generation, culminating with the recent...

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MDGs: The Millennium Development... Guys?

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2010 | 12:38 PM

Cross-posted from RH Reality Check.

Consider these truths:



Men don't get pregnant.


Completely preventable complications of pregnancy, labor, unsafe abortion and AIDS-related illnesses remain the leading causes of death and disability among women in countries throughout the world due to lack of political will,...

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Hypocrisy Watch: Yet Another Legislator of Morality to Resign Over Affair with Staffer

(9) Comments | Posted May 18, 2010 | 11:25 AM

Yet another in a lengthening line of legislative moralizers will resign today as a result of his own hypocrisy.

Today's example is Congressman Mark Souder (R-IN), who has spent his time in Congress telling everyone else what is right from wrong and how to live their lives according to...

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Kagan's Late Abortion Ban Strategy Was Rejected by Constitutional Scholar, Key Senators, Advocates

(4) Comments | Posted May 13, 2010 | 2:17 PM

A correction to this article was made at 4:40 pm Thursday, May 13th, 2010.  The earlier version incorrectly attributed comments  in the Congressional Record from 1997 on to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) that were made by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

By now it is clear that the...

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Politics Over Women's Rights: Kagan in the Clinton White House

(28) Comments | Posted May 12, 2010 | 12:46 PM

This article was originally published at RH Reality Check.

The terms "centrist," "pragmatist," and "moderate" most often are used these days to describe politicians who make deals based on their own political calculations (e.g. what is good for them and their re-election campaigns, or what is best for...

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(VIDEOS) Bad Boys and Runaway Husbands?

(1) Comments | Posted April 27, 2010 | 1:35 PM

This article was originally published by RH Reality Check.

Early last Friday morning, I started a workout at the gym by getting on the elliptical and plugging my headphones in so I could alternate between two of the four televisions provided. One of those sets is tuned...

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Why Does Congress Allow a Pedophilia-ridden Church to Control Women's Rights?

(8) Comments | Posted March 25, 2010 | 10:36 AM

This article was originally published by RH Reality Check

If you are, like me, confused about the answer to this question, please raise your hand....or better yet....ask your Congressperson and Senator.  And ask the President.

Why is a pedophilia-ridden, pedophilia-hiding, child-abusing Church allowed to write laws controlling...

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(VIDEO) Stupak Wants An Apology. But Will He Also Offer One?

(1) Comments | Posted March 23, 2010 | 4:16 PM

Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) does not garner a lot of sympathy among American women these days.  In fact, quite the opposite.  And his (literally and figuratively) 11th hour conversion on health reform cost us a great deal in regard to our basic rights to decide whether and when to carry...

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The Health Care Bill and Women's Health: Wins, Losses, and Challenges

(3) Comments | Posted March 23, 2010 | 10:53 AM

Updates and additions to the original information provided in this analysis can be found below, including "right to pump" mandate extended to every state to allow mothers to pump breastmilk at work and expansion of efforts to address postpartum depression.

Today, President Obama signed the Affordable Health Care for...

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Bart Stupak: I Don't Listen To Nuns

(8) Comments | Posted March 18, 2010 | 8:26 PM

In interviews Wednesday, Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak revealed a great deal about himself, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, politics and the internal workings of our "pro-choice" Democratic party.

First, in what shouldn't be surprising to anyone, Stupak told Fox News that he doesn't listen to nuns.

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In Absurd Move, Canada Drops Family Planning from Maternal Health Plan

(9) Comments | Posted March 17, 2010 | 5:00 PM

In an act that appears to reflect a global epidemic of political absurdity, aversion to evidence, and "un-reality" show searches for "common ground" efforts that do not address the core problems we face, the Canadian government has decided to exclude support for contraceptive programs, supplies, and information from its initiative...

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Connie Saltonstall, Pro-Choice Candidate, Launches Primary Challenge Against Stupak

(34) Comments | Posted March 10, 2010 | 2:44 PM

This article was originally published at RH RealityCheck.

Yesterday and this morning, I spoke briefly with Connie Saltonstall, the former county commissioner from Kent County, Michigan who is working on filing to mount a primary challenge against Bart Stupak.

While our conversation was brief and RH...

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The Church and Gays: Can't Decide Whether to "Love 'Em" or "Leave 'Em?"

(75) Comments | Posted March 5, 2010 | 12:22 PM

Could it be divine intervention?  Or would that be divine punishment?

This week, just days after Catholic Charities cut off spousal insurance and employment benefits for all employees to protect itself from the scourge of gay marriage in the District of Columbia, the Vatican is embroiled in a gay sex...

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Bart Stupak and His Merry Band of Eleven Anti-Choicers Want to Run Your Life

(45) Comments | Posted March 4, 2010 | 4:21 PM

This article was originally published at RH RealityCheck

Like a petulant child, Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) is all over radio and television stomping his feet on health care reform.

He now says that unless he and his supporters in Congress "get their way," they will refuse to vote...

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Nelson Restrictions Most Likely Outcome of Reconciliation Process

(1) Comments | Posted March 3, 2010 | 1:55 PM

As health reform seems to be approaching final passage, anti-choice advocates are ratcheting up pressure to completely eliminate coverage of abortion care, now a basic component of the insurance coverage held by the majority of currently-insured women in the United States.

Meanwhile, discriminatory restrictions contained in the Senate bill--originally incorporated...

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Do Catholic Bishops Run the United States Government?

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2009 | 10:52 PM

On Saturday, with the aide of some 60 Democrats, women's rights were effectively negated by the US Congress as the House passed the Stupak amendment to HR 3200, the Affordable Health Care Act of 2009.

More in-depth analysis of how we got here is forthcoming. But one...

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