A couple of weeks ago, a dear friend of mine gave birth to a beautiful baby girl I’ll call Rachel. Looking at the very first pictures of that sweet little girl, it’s impossible not to wonder at her tremendous potential. Rachel can be anything she wants to be — and I know her parents, so I know she has a great head start. Rachel will live in a house filled with love, she’ll be well fed and well read, wanting for nothing.
And, thanks to the new health care law, Rachel will always have access to high quality health care that she and her parents can afford.
Rachel was born via Caesarean section. Thanks to the new health care law, insurance companies can’t use that information to discriminate against Rachel’s mom. And that’s important, because Rachel will learn a lot from her mother — but only if mom can stay healthy.
Because of the new law, years from now, when Rachel grows into the incredible young woman I know she’ll be, she’ll have access to well-woman visits, domestic violence screening, and contraception at no additional cost. Today, at less than a month old, I have a hard time imagining baby Rachel needing any of those services — but someday she will need them. Someday she will likely join the 98 percent of women who use contraception at some point in their lives. And, because one in four women in the US experience domestic violence, I am relieved to know that Rachel’s doctors will someday join the community of people looking out for her safety — though I hope with all my heart that she’ll never know the pain of an abusive relationship.
Thanks to the new health care law, Rachel has a bright future. Each day, beautiful little girls like Rachel are born into families of all kinds and they are all counting on us — their moms, their aunts, their grandmothers — to ensure that their futures stay bright. That’s why women’s groups like NCJW are speaking out to protect the incredible reforms included in the new health care law. And that’s why NCJW is playing an active role in the HERvotes initiative: to educate and mobilize voters who care about women’s Health and Economic Rights leading up to the November 2012 elections.
It is my hope that through this initiative NCJW and our allies will inspire more voters to cast their ballots for girls like Rachel because they know that in every election our health and economic rights are at stake.
This blog is part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.
For more thoughtful stories and anaylsis on this topic, please check out the blogs below!
It’s In The Law: Breaking Down What’s In It For You In the New Health Care Law, Thao Nguyen, National Women’s Law Center
Women Have Lives on the Line With Health Care Reform, Jessica Mason Pieklo, Care2.com
She Who Has Health Has Hope — She Who Has Hope Has Everything, Christy Jones, American Association of University Women
Forty Years of Influencing Women’s Health Around the Globe, Byllye Y. Avery
How Much Would You Pay to Have Your Colon Looked At?, Cindy Pearson, Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need; National Women’s Health Network
What the Health Care Bill Means for Women, Jessica Stites, Ms. Magazine
Health Care is a Right, Not a Privilege, Carol Rosenblatt, Coalition of Labor Union Women
Women’s Health: It’s Essential!, Cindy Pearson, Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need; National Women’s Health Network
Raising Our Voices for the Health Coverage Women Need!, Lois Uttley, Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need
In Massachusetts, Health reform is a Life Saver for Women, Amanda Dennis and Kelly Blanchard, Ibis Reproductive Health
Public Funding of Family Planning is Essential, Even Under Health Reform, Britt Wahlin and Amanda Dennis, Ibis Reproductive Health
No Co-Pay for Birth Control? A Great First Step Towards Truly Universal Access, Kelly Blanchard, Ibis Reproductive Health
Women’s Health, Worth Fighting For, by Avis Jones DeWeever, PhD, National Council for Negro Women
The Affordable Care Act and Women, Desiree Hoffman, YWCA
New Health Care Law and Young People: What You Need to Know, Sarah Audelo, Amplify Your Voice
The New Health Care Law and Me, Becky Mezzanotte, National Council of Women’s Organizations
As a Young Woman, I Need Healthcare!, Kendra McCormick, National Council of Women’s Organizations
Catholic Death Panels Coming to a Hospital Near You, Carol King, Ms. Magazine
U.S. Flunks Women’s Health, Michelle Chen, Ms. Magazine
Birth Control Pills … or a Frappucino?, Leah Berkenwald, Ms. Magazine
“Care,” The New Four-Letter Word, National Women’s Political Caucus
What the Affordable Care Act Has Done for YOU Lately, Colleen Eliza, WIN Writing Group
The ACA and Why Women Need to Vote in 2012, WIN Writing Group