204930 Building support for the inclusion of comprehensive reproductive health services in a reformed health care system

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 11:20 AM

Cynthia A. Pearson , National Women's Health Network, Washington, DC
Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need (RWV) is a national collaboration working to engage a broad array of reproductive health and justice advocates in local, state and national health reform discussions. The inclusion of reproductive health services is likely to be a controversial point in the health reform policy debate. Opponents of family planning and abortion have expressed their intent to restrict services, just as they have done in current publicly funded programs such as Medicaid, federal employees' health insurance, and for women in the military. RWV is committed to ensuring that all women have access to a full range of reproductive and women's health services, including maternity care, pre- and post-natal care, contraception, abortion, treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted infections, and fertility treatment. To support that goal, RWV is pursuing two complementary strategies: (1) engaging a network of women's health advocates throughout the country who can articulate women's concerns within health policy discussions and (2) establishing partnerships with health reform and health justice organizations based on a shared commitment to achieving quality, affordable health care for all. Through the network of mobilized women and women's health advocates, RWV has demonstrated that the women's community brings significant strengths to the health reform effort. And through the partnerships with broader health policy groups, RWV is contributing to organizing, communications and policy activities that advance progressive reform goals while raising the visibility of women and women's issues in health policy discussions.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the potential controversy over reproductive health services in the health care reform debate; 2. Describe the range of women's health services that advocates are working to get included in a reformed health care system; and 3. Discuss the effects of the mobilizing and partnership-building that women's health advocates have done to influence the health reform debate.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Executive Director of the National Women's Health Network, an organization that works to improve the health of all women and that is committed to establishing universal access to health care that meets the needs of diverse women.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.