Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services (HERS) Foundation

Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services (HERS) Foundation

The Hysterectomy Educational Resources & Services (HERS) Foundation is an independent non-profit international women’s health educational advocacy organization [http://www.hersfoundation.org] [http://www.uterinearteryembolization.com] . The stated mission of the organization is to give women a greater voice within the healthcare system by education and advocacy programs. HERS is financially supported by the thousands of individuals who use their services and specifically denies contributions from pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. The HERS Foundation researches and testifies before federal agencies on such issues as drug and medical device reporting and informed consent for gynecological procedures and surgeries. HERS Newsletter provides health information on a variety of women’s health interests. They are dedicated to making information available and accessible to every individual, regardless of their ability to pay.


The HERS Foundation was established in 1982 by Nora W. Coffey and Helen E. Plotkin, A.B.D. as a group to provide information about the alternatives to hysterectomy and the effects of the surgery. It quickly broadened to address a wide variety of women’s health issues and became a clearinghouse for women’s health information and advocacy.

In 2004, HERS organized the first ever nationwide protest against hospitals in every state. In 2007 HERS organized opposition to National Public Radio (NPR) for allowing the underwriting on their air waves of an advertisement for robotic hysterectomy which resulted in NPR withdrawing the ad.

HERS has counseled more than 875,000 individuals and provided information to millions more worldwide via broadcast, print and the World Wide Web. The organization’s website is multilingual, offered in English, French and German. [http://www.hersfoundation.com/languages.htm]

Purpose and Programs

The foundation’s purpose is to provide comprehensive information about treatment alternatives and the effects of hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) and female castration (removal of the gonads, the ovaries). They help individual women world wide by providing one-on-one telephone counseling , physician referrals, litigation support, a free lending library of books, scripts, videos, and DVD’s, 6,000 annotated medical journal articles, woman-to-woman networking, newsletters, informational pamphlets in English and Spanish, lectures and annual regional conferences [http://www.hersfoundation.org] [http://hersfoundation.org/conference.html] . HERS is committed to the ideal that every woman has the right to the information required to make her own healthcare decisions. ,They encourage women to have candid discussions with their physicians about the effects of medical treatment and surgery. They raise public awareness of the large number of hysterectomies being performed without the information requisite for informed consent.

Ongoing Projects

"un becoming"In February of 2005 HERS produced a play about the physical, political, economic, and social impact of hysterectomy. UN BECOMING by Rick Schweikert premiered Off Broadway at the 45th Street Theatre and it has been performed in 25 other cities. In June 2005 a performance of UN BECOMING with the original Off-Broadway cast was filmed by Eric Marciano and American Montage [http://www.unbecomingplay.com] . Barbara Seaman, author of The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed On Women, stated, “Every woman, man and child should see this play!”

Female Anatomy: Functions of the Female Organs is a short educational video produced by the HERS Foundation in 2007 [http://www.hersfoundation.com/anatomy/index.html] . It has been viewed over 400,000 times on websites including YouTube [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff5IOSj1l7w] , GOOGLE, MSN, Yahoo and the HERS Foundation.

Hysterectomy: The Experts Speak Out is a blog written by the HERS Foundation that gives the public access to the experiences of hysterectomized and castrated women told in their own unedited words. The blog provides an in-depth analysis of the patient education misinformation being given to women by doctors and hospitals and provides a platform for women to voice their experiences [http://hysterectomyinformation.blogspot.com/] .

Interviews, Lectures, and Consulting

Magazine Interviews

*American Health
*Family Circle
*Heart And Soul
*House and Garden
*Ladies’ Home Journal
*Lear’s Magazine

*Modern Maturity
*More Magazine
*New Woman
*New York
*New York Times
*Patient Care

*Readers Digest
*Rhode Island Monthly
*San Francisco
*Shape Magazine
*Staten Island Parents
*Today’s Health
*Woman Of Power
*Woman’s Day
*Woman’s World
*Working Mother

Newspaper Interviews

*The Arizona Republic
*The Asahi News (Tokyo)
*Atlanta Constitution
*The Boston Globe
*Boston Herald
*Die Standard
*Stephanie Scherow
*Cape Cod Times
*Chattanooga Times Free Press
*The Stockton Record
*Syracuse Herald-Journal
*Tribune Review

*Chicago SunTimes
*Communique Elles
*The Dallas Morning News
*DARE–Tennesee’s Gay and Lesbian Newsweekly
*Detroit News
*Jackson Free Press
*Las Vegas Times
*Union News
*USA Today
*Wall Street Journal

*Los Angeles Times
*The Main Line Times
*New Directions for Women
*New York Times
*Omaha World Herald
*Philadelphia Inquirer
*Woman’s Newspaper
*The Woman’s Reporter




*Women’s Health Ctr Mgnt


*ABC/WLS Chicago, IL
*CBC—The Nature of Things
*Channel 7 News
*Good Morning America

*HBO–Warning: Medicine May Be Hazardous To Your Health
*News 12—Long Island
*Oprah Winfrey Show
*PBS Healthweek
*People Are Talking

*Phil Donahue
*Sally Jesse Raphael
*Today Show


*Arizona Viewpoint
*Dean Edell Show
*Gary Null
*WHYY—Fresh Air with Terry Gross
*KERA—Glenn Mitchell Show

*KNBA—Heartbeat Alaska
*Voice of America

*WCTC—New Brunswick
*WLVT—PBS, New York
*WOR—New York

*The Hysterectomy Epidemic—NOW
*Sudden Changes—PBS Boston

*Federal Drug Administration (FDA)
*Expert witness


*AMSA 40th Anniversary Convention
*Bucks County NOW
*Elizabeth Blackwell HC for Women
*Mid-Atlantic Women’s Studies Conference
*Montville, NJ—Public Library
*NMSA, Women in Medicine
*Peekskill, NY Public Library

*Planned Parenthood
*U of Temple Medical Student Association
*U of Montana Nursing School
*U of Pennsylvania Medical Student Association
*U of Pittsburgh Law School
*U of Pittsburgh Medical Student Association
*West Chester University

*Women’s Bar Association of Philadelphia
*Women’s Health Alliance
*Frauengesundheitszentrum- Graz, Austria
*The Women’s Health Centre—Vienna, Austria
*Women’s SBA—Delaware Valley
*Women’s SBA—New York

Television Consulting
*LA Law

External links

* [http://www.hersfoundation.org/ HERS Foundation]
* [http://www.uterinearteryembolization.org/ Uterine Artery Embolization]
* [http://hersfoundation.com/anatomy/index.html Female Anatomy video]
* [http://www.unbecomingplay.com UN BECOMING play]
* [http://hersfoundation.org/conference.html HERS 27th Hysterectomy Conference]
* [http://shainwaldlaw.com/ Law Offices of Sybil Shainwald]
* [http://www.desaction.org DES Action]
* [http://now.org National Organization for Women]

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