Perspectives: Time To Wake Up And Understand How Damaging Policies Are That Disinvest In Women’s Health
As Mother's Day approaches, columnists offer their opinions on women's health care.
The Washington Post:
Cutting Support For Economically Vulnerable Women Is No Way To Celebrate Mother’s Day
Here’s a Mother’s Day idea for the Trump administration: Stop undermining the nation’s future by disinvesting in millions of women, mothers and their families. A few facts help to frame the analysis. Compared with men, women are more likely to have low incomes and be the primary caretakers of their children. Most low-wage workers, about 60 percent, are women. Because there are so many more poor, single mothers than fathers, these moms are particularly vulnerable to cuts in safety-net programs.Several policy actions by the administration and congressional Republicans are building toward a wholesale attack on many of the programs that have supported women and families’ health and economic mobility. They have proposed slashing nutrition assistance programs, taken steps to undermine access to health care for many low-income families, and cut holes in the economic safety net. And they have consistently failed to enact tax and labor market policies that would support low-income mothers. (Jared Bernstein and Hannah Katch, 5/11)
Maternal Mortality Is Rising In America But Falling In Our Peer Nations
In medicine, death is a reality. But in obstetrics, where patients are relatively young and healthy, the death of a mother should be so rare that you might never see one in training. However, that is not the case in this country, where the maternal death rate is the highest among all developed nations. (Allison Schneider, 5/11)
Let's Work To End Disparities In Prenatal Care For Women Of Color
On Mother's Day we pay tribute to the women to whom we owe our lives. While it's a heartwarming celebration, the chances to enjoy pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood differ vastly, with African-American women at a distinct disadvantage. Many African-American women will never celebrate Mother's Day, as they are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes than white women. Their chances of surviving pregnancy are the same as if they lived in Uzbekistan, according to the World Health Organization. African-American women are also 49% more likely to deliver prematurely, which can have long-term effects for their babies. (Delvecchio Finley, 5/9)
Alcohol Is A Major Risk Factor For Breast Cancer. Why Don't More Women Know?
In 1988, alcohol was declared a class 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization. The National Cancer Institute says alcohol raises breast cancer risk even at low levels of drinking. And in the United States, an estimated 15 percent of breast cancer cases are related to alcohol.Public health officials in some countries, including England and Australia, have launched ad campaigns warning of alcohol's links to cancer. One ad, aired in western Australia in 2010, features a glass of red wine spilling on a white table cloth: Mother Jones investigative reporter Stephanie Mencimerdiscovered all this after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and decided to dig into the causes of the illness. (5/10)
The New York Times:
Schneiderman’s Downfall Puts A Spotlight On Men, Alcohol And Violence
For the past several years, a certain cultural panic around the drinking habits of affluent, educated women has taken hold, with no obvious corollary for men from a similar demographic position, even though the men seem to be causing all the trouble. Recently the magazine Mother Jones ran a piece that circulated widely online titled “Did Drinking Give Me Breast Cancer?” Generating a lot of anxiety, it argued that women ought to be gravely worried about the health effects of moderate drinking, even though the author of the article had no proof that drinking caused her illness. (Ginia Bellafante, 5/9)
Getting Contraceptives For Men To The Market Will Take Pharma's Help
That the responsibility for preventing unintended pregnancy still lies almost exclusively with women remains one of the world’s great health inequities. Beyond condom use, vasectomy, and withdrawal, there are no other male-controlled methods of contraception, even though it’s an entirely feasible option. One of the biggest obstacles to the development of male contraceptives has been the lack of interest and involvement from pharmaceutical companies. (Regine Sitruk-Ware, 5/11)