Press Releases

Press Releases

Outrageous, that’s the phrase that came to mind as we watched the health care reform debates over the weekend. While health care reform passed a hurdle in the House of Representatives, women and immigrants were left on the sidelines.

What happened???

    •    In an effort to pass health care reform, Congress included an amendment that singled out and banned most abortions from all public and private health plans in the insurance exchange.  Women who think they may need an abortion in the future would be required to buy an additional insurance “abortion rider” with their own personal funds for coverage.

    •    Under the House bill, undocumented immigrants can buy into the public health insurance exchange with their own money. But, they are prevented from receiving any subsidies, affordability credits, or receive federal Medicaid.

    •    The 5-year ban on legal residents accessing public health benefits, including Medicaid, also remained intact.

Essentially politicians are saying that under current health care reform, women would have to plan for an unplanned pregnancy. 

The fight for health care reform has reached its last stage, and the bills passed by the House and the Senate are currently being merged by Democratic leadership.  It has been long and it has been tough, and now we are advocating for the best possible result even though closed-door meetings have replaced an open conference process.   Our efforts have not led us where we would have liked given the momentous opportunity that health care reform presented.  Certainly, the final bill will contain a number of key provisions that will improve the way people access health care by ending pre-existing conditions exclusions, expanding Medicaid, and ending gender-rating (the practice of charging women more than men for similar policies).  Although we knew from the beginning that this legislation would not create a system of truly universal health care, we dedicated our best efforts into improving reform options for Latinas and their families.

Title V Abstinence Only Funding Sex Education is set to expire on June 30, 2007.

Title V is a federally funded program funded under the 1996 federal welfare reform law (Section 510(b) of Title V of the Social Security Act). Title V has been allocated $50 million each year for states to teach abstinence-only programs.

Abstinence only sex education programs prohibit discussion on contraception, including condoms, except for failure rates.

Every year on March 8th, we celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women – past, present and future. While every day should be International Women’s Day, today marks the day that we celebrate ordinary women as makers of herstory — a “day rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men,” the United Nations says.

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