An opinion piece about this week’s IOM decision written by Interim Executive Director Maria Elena Perez was published to RH Reality Check today.
Women are cheering this week’s recommendation by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to eliminate costly insurance co-pays for birth control. It’s a signal that there is a growing public recognition that preventive care is more than just the provision of services at the doctor’s office. For millions of Latinas, birth control, by definition, is prevention. But, while the media has focused extensively on the birth control recommendations, the full set of recommendations detailed by federal health officials paints an even brighter picture for our community: Latinas made major gains not only in controlling our fertility, but equally importantly in keeping ourselves and our children healthy.
The IOM is made up of a powerful group of scientists and public health leaders that has enormous sway in the government’s approach to health care. It’s no surprise then that health professionals looking at the country’s essential needs recognized what many have not: removing societal barriers to health care, such as those faced by many Latinas, are critical public health priorities.
Virtually every one of the IOM recommendations will greatly benefit Latina women. Whether Latinas are seeking to plan and space their pregnancies, keep their pregnancies healthy, keep their infants healthy, or get basic preventive healthcare, these expanded benefits are welcome news.
Read the rest here.