Disparities & Access

Many of the health challenges faced by women are a result of insufficient access to basic prevention information, health services and insurance coverage. In the pharmaceutical and health industries, the gender dimensions of diseases and treatments are often overlooked in setting research priorities and developing new products. The availability and quality of health care may vary according to race, income, ability, geographic location or immigration status. In the U.S., finding affordable health insurance is particularly challenging for women, who often pay higher premiums than men. Many insurance companies fail to cover or provide adequate maternity care or essential reproductive health services. Additionally, women experience more part-time and interrupted jobs and careers due to caregiving and family responsibilities and require portable health plans that provide stable coverage.

IN THE NEWS: Progressive Voices on Health Care Reform

After months of debates and delays, Congress finally put health care reform to a vote. The result has left progressive women’s voices split. Some feel that women have yet again been thrown under the bus as access to reproductive health care was weakened in exchange for moving the rest of the bill forward. Others feel that this is a historic moment where health care reform was not just talked about but actually acted on. Overall, the reactions have been bittersweet. There have been both gains and losses. Gone are provisions that deny health insurance based on pre-existing conditions such as being a survivor of domestic violence or having had a C-section. Nearly 30 million more Americans will have access to health insurance.


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Dr. Susan Wicklund: The Perils of Providing Abortions

Just one month after the death of Dr. George Tiller, the Center for Reproductive Rights released a chilling report that shows abortion providers and their clinics are under siege. A four-month investigation in six states revealed that death threats, break ins, and assaults continue to impede women's access to clinics. Rather than use Tiller's death to make the case that doctors and their patients should be protected, the federal government has done very little. So how should those who believe in a woman's right to have an abortion respond?

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