233718 Scarlet Letter and health reform: Can we fight for women's health without abandoning abortion?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 3:10 PM - 3:30 PM

Cynthia A. Pearson , National Women's Health Network, Washington, DC
The women's health movement made progress during the health reform campaign, but also confronted compelling evidence of the need to refocus our efforts. Mainstream health advocacy groups were reluctant to address any aspect of women's health in early planning for the health care reform campaign, believing that women were not a key constituency, and that our inclusion would inevitably engender a divisive battle over reproductive rights. Women's health and women's rights groups nevertheless were important leaders for health reform and made significant gains in the final law, including eliminating gender rating in insurance premiums and expanding access to reproductive health services to many women previously excluded due to high costs or pre-existing conditions. Savvy messaging, building respectful partnerships and demonstrating the power of mobilizing across movements were all successful strategies for making progress. However, reproductive choice and abortion coverage were compromised -- at least in part because of our long-standing failure to defeat the Hyde Amendment and other restrictions on abortion funding. Why were our voices insufficient at a time of great opportunity to create change, and what can we do about it?

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe policy decisions about abortion coverage in the Affordable Care Act Discuss how better coverage can be made available in the future

Keywords: Abortion, Health Care Reform

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the director of a research, policy and advocacy organization that focuses on women's health
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.