Thank you to my friend and LGBT ally, Jennifer Carey, for inspiring me to write this article. During this Republican War on Women, and for those ill informed detractors of the Affordable Care Act, it behooves everyone to know some facts on how this act actually significantly helps women. Of course for those of us who actually took the time to read the ACA, none of this comes as a big surprise.
Scientific American, points out that as of August 1 the Affordable Care Act requires private insurance companies to provide the following for free:
- approved contraceptives (per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommended list, which includes major oral contraceptives as well as sterilization procedures) as well as contraceptive counseling;
- well-woman visits (those annual trips in to the OB/GYN to get everything checked out);
- breastfeeding supplies (such as breast pumps), support and counseling;
- STI (sexually transmitted infection) counseling—including HIV testing and counseling as well as genetic HPV (human papillomaviurs) testing for women 30 and older;
- screening for gestational diabetes (a condition which can increase the risk for complications and developing type 2 diabetes later as well as metabolic challenges for the child);
- and domestic violence screening and counseling.
It’s about time, given that during the Bush Administration Viagra was provided for free.
Kathleen Sebelius, the Director of Health and Human Services sums it up best:
These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need.
These preventive measures for women’s health (many already afforded to men) will save millions of dollars in the long run in health care costs. If you are pro-woman and pro-woman’s health, I strongly encourage you to think about whom you will vote for this November. Do you really want someone who has now stated that he will overturn Roe v. Wade and gut Planned Parenthood and work against civil rights of LGBT folk? Or would you prefer a President who has made it clear that women’s health issues cannot be ignored and has taken a strong stand for civil rights?