Guttmacher Institute, National Council of Jewish Women honored for support of Latina health
As part of the annual national Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) is announcing its honoring of the Guttmacher Institute and the National Council of Jewish Women with the Solidaridad Awards for ongoing support and exceptional partnership in advancing health, dignity, and justice for the 24 million Latinas and their families living in the United States.
Guttmacher Institute’s commitment to a comprehensive view of sexual and reproductive health and to the reproductive health and rights of those with the greatest need provides crucial perspective for exploring the reproductive health needs of immigrant women and families. A longtime ally in the fight to expand health coverage to all who need it, this year the Guttmacher Institute shone new light on the barriers immigrant women face when trying to access health care with the groundbreaking article, Toward Equity and Access: Removing Legal Barriers to Health Insurance Coverage for Immigrants. The article detailed the significant harms of federal and state policies that deny access to affordable health coverage on the basis of immigration status.
“Guttmacher’s rigorous research provides much-needed objectivity and data for a conversation that is too often driven by stereotypes,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH. “Guttmacher has been a consistent leader in elevating the concerns of immigrant women within the health community. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is proud to honor them for this work.”
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. They have routinely harnessed their experience and network to advocate for the human rights, like health care, of immigrant women. After the Senate bill for immigration reform (S. 744) was introduced in April, NCJW quickly recognized the potential harms of the bill’s restrictions on access to health care and the safety net programs for women. NCJW collaborated with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health to elevate women’s health concerns in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that was endorsed by 164 organizations representing a broad cross-section of civil, women’s and human rights organizations.
“NCJW has remained committed to achieving a new immigration process that will strengthen the opportunity for immigrants, including women, to contribute to our society with health, dignity and justice,” González-Rojas said.
This is a critical moment for women immigrants and their families. Women immigrants and their families continue to be marginalized in the national debate about comprehensive immigration reform. Current proposals would force many of these women — the backbones of their communities and often breadwinners of their families — to wait well over a decade to access health care.
“For a Latina with undiagnosed breast cancer or cervical cancer, waiting 15 years to get medical care can be the difference between life and death,” González-Rojas said. “As we continue to advance a pathway to citizenship, it will be the support from allies like the Guttmacher Institute and the National Council of Jewish Women that will also help advance health care for immigrant women and their families.”
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national organization working on behalf of the reproductive health and justice of the 24 million Latinas, their families and communities in the United States through public education, community mobilization and policy advocacy.