Women’s health concerns are in special need of protection
Women’s health issues in this country continue to be pawns in political debate, seen as pieces to bargain away in order to work on “real issues.” Far too little has been done to ensure that we receive adequate and equal health care which addresses our specific needs.
America is the wealthiest nation in the world, and yet women in this country have some of the worse health outcomes when compared to our counterparts in other industrialized nations. According to the CDC, maternal mortality in this country is 20.1 deaths per 100,000 live births, and it’s more than double for Black and Latina women at 40 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Gender discrimination in healthcare goes beyond maternity, 1 in 5 women say their symptoms have been dismissed or ignored by a healthcare provider, and 17% feel they’ve been treated differently because of their gender.
Legislation is only one part of a solution., I support President Biden’s plan to designate $200 million of the Federal budget to expand maternal care, decrease implicit bias and fund Maternal Mortality Review Committees in order to better understand and address these systemic inequities in women’s healthcare.
Defending a woman’s right to choose
The “right to choose” is constantly under attack in the U.S., and we need to enshrine the reproductive rights granted through Roe. v. Wade into Federal law.
Access to abortion services, birth control, and even proactive family planning varies state to state. Congress must guarantee that no State can limit access to these services, or worse yet, criminalize patients and doctors who seek or perform an abortion. Here in Colorado, we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in abortions and unwanted teen pregnancies since we’ve allowed birth control to be purchased over the counter and State dollars have funded free and low-cost IUDs.
We must protect Federal funding to Planned Parenthood and repeal the Hyde Amendment in order to guarantee quality reproductive care.
Protect Pregnant Workers
Work discrimination against pregnant people is a health issue to often overlooked. I’m calling on Congress to finally pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and to guarantee at least 12 week of Paid Family and Medical leave like we now do in Colorado.
Improve Title IX enforcement
On-campus sexual assault is a health epidemic impacting millions of women, trans, and queer people across the country. In fact, 26.4% of female and 23.1% of trans and queer college students have been sexually assaulted.
This is simply unacceptable.
Federal agencies need to leverage public funds to force college campuses to address the rampant sexual assaults that women, trans, and queer people are forced to endure at such an alarming rate.