Washington, D.C. – President Joe Biden has proclaimed May 14 to May 20, 2023, as National Women’s Health Week, reaffirming the nation’s dedication to improving the health and well-being of women and girls across America. The aim is to encourage women to prioritize their health and well-being.

National Women’s Health Week was first recognized by the White House in 2010, coinciding with the passing of the Affordable Care Act. This landmark legislation put an end to unfair practices like denying coverage to women with pre-existing conditions and charging them higher healthcare costs solely because of their gender. It also expanded access to preventive care, such as cancer screenings, and improved access to essential health services, including maternity care.

Since assuming office, President Biden has worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen healthcare coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act. His efforts include lowering prescription drug prices and reducing health insurance premiums for American families. The President is proud of the historic increase in health insurance coverage during his tenure and is committed to ensuring that healthcare becomes a fundamental right for all Americans.

However, significant challenges remain, particularly when it comes to women’s rights to make personal decisions about their bodies and health. The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last year has had serious consequences for millions of women across the country. Some healthcare professionals have turned away women experiencing miscarriages due to fear of legal consequences. Women have been told to wait until their conditions worsen before seeking medical help. Others have been denied necessary prescriptions, and some have had to travel long distances across state lines to access life-saving care.

In response, President Biden has issued two Executive Orders to protect women’s access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare services, including abortion and contraception. His administration is working to ensure that patients receive proper care during medical emergencies, safeguarding their privacy and sensitive health information. The President is also focused on the safety and security of both patients and healthcare providers, who are trained to deliver evidence-based and lawful care. He will continue to advocate for access to medication abortion and call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade through federal legislation, securing the right to choose for women.

Addressing the maternal health crisis is another priority for the Biden administration. Currently, American women, particularly those who are Black or Native American, face higher rates of pregnancy-related deaths compared to women in other developed nations. As part of his plan to address this crisis, President Biden has expanded Medicaid postpartum coverage nationwide, worked to diversify and expand the maternal health workforce, and improved access to care in rural communities. His administration is committed to tackling systemic inequities that put women at a higher risk of pregnancy-related complications. Vice President Kamala Harris, a long-time advocate for maternal health, continues to raise awareness and bring together various stakeholders to develop comprehensive solutions.

In addition, President Biden’s administration has launched initiatives to support the mental health of new and expecting mothers, including the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline (1-833-TLC-MAMA) and the Maternal Mental Health Task Force. These initiatives aim to improve mental health support for mothers, including addressing postpartum depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. The President’s proposed 2024 Budget includes significant funding to transform the behavioral health system and expand access to mental health care.

President Biden’s commitment to women’s health also extends to preventing gender-based violence and providing support for survivors. The reauthorization and strengthening of the Violence Against Women Act is a key achievement, which increases funding for shelters and rape crisis centers, improves access to housing and legal assistance for survivors, and enhances training for law enforcement agencies and courts. The administration has also expanded support for survivors, including addressing the needs of LGBTQI+ survivors and other underserved populations

By Joshi

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