Women’s Health, Worth Fighting ForPosted October 11th, 2011 by Avis Jones-DeWeever
Some four years after the dawn of the Great Recession, all across this nation millions continue to struggle. And while women and families face a multitude of challenges, there is perhaps no challenge more pertinent to one’s quality of life than the issue of health and access to care when you need it.
It could not be more clear that access to healthcare for women is blatantly under attack in America. Whether that attack comes in the form of the continuing all-out assault against Title X which would eliminate reproductive health care and other preventive health care services to more than five million low income women. Or if the attack comes in the form of efforts to end Medicare as we know it and ultimately replace it with a system that would make healthcare unaffordable for millions who rely on that assistance, 56% of whom, are women. Or if the onslot comes in the form of efforts to gut Medicaid under the guise of deficit reduction, the continuing assault against Roe vs. Wade, or the all-out broad scale attack against the Affordable Care Act, the end result of all these efforts are the same. If successful, millions of women would be denied their very basic human right of having access to a broad range of health care services when and where they need it.
We, at the National Council of Negro Women, along with all of the sister organizations in the HerVote Movement believe that protecting the health and well-being of women and their families, is worth fighting for. And so we have gladly joined the effort to educate, organize and mobilize women across this country around the need to protect gateways to care.
Though in their personal lives women tend to be most concerned about providing care to others, the harsh reality is that women are more likely than men to suffer from chronic diseases–diseases that in many cases could be avoided with proper preventative care. Yet, women tend to be clustered in low wage jobs that fail to provide access to employer provided health insurance. And so, attacks on things like the Affordable Care Act, if successful, would mean that recently opened doors to preventative care, would suddenly be slammed shut on millions.
No longer will women be able to access at absolutely no cost to them things like well-woman visits, mammograms, and screenings for cervical cancer, gestational diabetes, HIV, and domestic violence. And no longer would women have absolutely free access to contraception or a multitude of other no cost or lost cost preventative care services made available under health care reform.
Given the threat to women’s health and safety implicit in the recent wave of attacks against women’s health care services broadly and Health Care Reform specifically, we will not stand idly by and watch hard-fought advancements rolled back.
Instead, we will work, both as a distinctive organization and as part of a collective to inform women about what’s at stake, and why it’s important to fight on behalf of those battles we have won as well as against those continuing threats to our overall health and well-being in the months ahead.
The war on women is not over for we have just begun to fight.
This blog is part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.