Why Women’s Health Matters

By Vivian Nguyen

By now, a lot of people have heard of the Affordable Care Act.

But what many may not know is that the ACA is one of the MOST empowering pieces of legislation since women gained the right to vote in 1920. Let’s review a few of the reasons why this bold statement rings true.

Thanks to the ACA:

  • Young adult women are able to stay on their parents’ private health insurance until age 26
  • “Being a woman” is no longer a pre-existing condition that allows insurance companies to charge women more than men for health insurance
  • Women can get an appointment with their OB/GYN without having to first be referred by a primary care doctor
  • Women can access depression screenings, domestic violence counseling, well-women visits and mammograms at no additional cost
  • All FDA-approved methods of birth control are now covered for women with private health insurance without co-pays or cost-sharing

In recognition ofthese women’s health victories, San Francisco Supervisor David Campos introduced a municipal resolution declaring February as Women, Girls, and Transgender Women’s Health Month in San Francisco. The resolution, which passed unanimously, called for increased access to safe and legal reproductive health care including contraception and other essential health services. Moreover, it affirmed San Francisco’s support for the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013 and acknowledges that reproductive health is a vital component of the health and overall wellbeing for women, girls, and transgender women that must be recognized, prioritized, and protected.

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(Nicole Regalado, Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific)

“Women make 80% of the healthcare decisions for their families, which means that investing in women’s health is the key to building healthier families and communities,” said San Francisco Supervisor David Campos during a February 4th press event introducing the resolution. The press event was attended by over 25 supporting community organizations.

In support of the resolution, California Family Health Council, Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific, Women’s Community Clinic and over 100 other women’s health organizations, community advocates, and elected officials came together to launch a social media campaign throughout February. We want to celebrate and increase awareness about women’s health benefits under the ACA and to encourage women to sign-up for health insurance through Covered California, Medi-Cal and Healthy San Francisco before the March 31st enrollment deadline.

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(Nicole Regalado, Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific)

In the final week of the campaign, we are encouraging individuals to join the #SFWOMENHEALTH Twitter Chat on Friday, February 28 from 12-1pm PST to share why they believe women’s health matters as well as stories about how they’ve personally benefitted from provisions of the ACA. Help us spread the word about the #SFWOMENHEALTH Twitter Chat today by sending this message to your followers!

February may be almost over, but improving access to women’s health care is a vital initiative that should continue to be protected and expanded. With Medi-Cal expansion and the passage of both SB 138 and AB 154, California continues to demonstrate leadership in health care reform implementation while also being a champion of women’s health access. Now is the time to leverage the momentum we’ve built up and take steps to ensure that all of the important women in our lives – our daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts and grandmothers – get covered.

Vivian Nguyen is the Strategic Communications Coordinator for California Family Health Council.

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