This week is about taking action and showing our PODER, and we are focusing in on our governors. As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to be implemented, we must be diligent in our advocacy to make sure that its benefits get to as many people as possible. In the spirit of action, NLIRH is providing you with two very easy ways to take action. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category
Today marks the day in which health insurance policies begin to make the transition into no-copay preventive services, a mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Because birth control is a preventive service, this means that along with pap smears and other preventive services, women will begin to experience the full coverage of their birth control as the law requires more and more policies to cover this service with no additional cost to policy-holders. For Latinas, our families, and our communities, this is great news. (more…)
Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need & the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Invite you to
Moving Forward for Health Justice
Thursday, July 12, 2012
2-3 PM ET (11-12 AM PT) English / 3-4 ET PM (12-1 PM PT) Spanish
Join us for a “cafecito”-style conference call (informal discussion over coffee) to discuss how women, communities of color, and other underserved populations can move forward for health justice after our tremendous victory – the Supreme Court upheld almost every aspect of the health care law! We will have a panel of national and state health advocates help us understand the decision and think through communications, advocacy, and mobilization strategies to advance health justice for our communities.
Please bring your thoughts and questions about how we will move forward as implementation of the law continues, including the implications of the court’s ruling on the Medicaid expansion.
Please click on this link to RSVP and receive call-in information.
For more information, please contact Kimberly Inez McGuire, Policy Analyst with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health at Kimberly@latinainstitute.org or Keely Monroe, Law Students for Reproductive Justice fellow with Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need at email@example.com.
Levantando las Voces de las Mujeres (RVW) y el Instituto Nacional de Latinas para la Salud Reproductiva (NLIRH)
Las invitan a
Siguiendo adelante para la justica
en el cuidado de salud
Fecha: Jueves, el 12 de julio
Hora: 2-3 PM ET en inglés, 3-4 PM ET en español
Acompáñanos para un cafecito virtual para discutir como las mujeres, comunidades de color, y comunidades marginalizadas podemos seguir adelante para la justica en el cuidado de salud después de nuestra victoria tremenda- el Tribunal Supremo de Justicia confirmó la constitucionalidad de la mayoría de la ley de reforma de salud! Tendremos presentaciones de expertos que abogan para la salud al nivel nacional y estatal para ayudarnos a entender la decisión, como comunicar esta información a nuestras comunidades, y las estrategias de abogacía y movilización comunitaria para avanzar en la justicia de la salud de nuestras comunidades.
Por favor traigan sus pensamientos y preguntas acerca de cómo vamos a seguir adelante con la implementación de la ley, incluyendo las implicaciones de la decisión del Tribunal Suprema sobre la expansión de Medicaid.
Por favor, haga clic en este enlace para confirmar su participación y obtener el número de teléfono y el código.
Para más información, por favor mande un correo electrónico a Kimberly Inez McGuire con el Instituto Nacional de Latinas para la Salud Reproductiva a Kimberly@latinainstitute.org o a Keely Monroe con Levantando las Voces de las Mujeres a firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I am sure many of you have heard, today, the Supreme Court of the United State upheld the landmark health reform law, the Affordable Care Act.
This is a big win as millions of Latinas, their families, and their communities have already benefited from greater access to quality and affordable health care as a result of the reforms in the law. And millions more Latinos will benefit from the law as it is fully implemented through 2014.
But the fun does not stop here: please join us for a number of conversations and events on this historic decision and how to move forward for #HealthJustice post-Supreme Court.
June 29, 2:00-3:30 PM ET on Twitter using #HealthJustice #SaludyJusticia
Please join National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) and over a dozen national partners TOMORROW, June 29, in a post- Supreme Court Tweetchat entitled “Now what? How the Health Care Law Supreme Court Decision will Impact Women, People of Color, LGBTQ Folks, and other Underserved Groups.”
The Tweetchat will run from 2:00 – 3:30 PM ET, so makes sure to join us on Twitter.com. It is sure to be a lively and informative discussion in both English and Spanish with over seventeen co-sponsoring organizations! Follow the conversation with our hashtag #HealthJustice #SaludyJusticia – Click here for more information.
July 12 2:00-4:00 PM ET – “Cafecito”- Style Conference Call
Join Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) for a “cafecito”-style conference call (informal discussion over coffee) to discuss how women, communities of color, and other underserved populations can move forward for health justice in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision on the health reform law.
Date: July 12, 2012
Time: 2 -3 pm ET in English, and 3-4 pm ET in Spanish.
Please RSVP here to receive the call-in information.
We know that the work starts here. We need to work for greater health care access for immigrant communities, LGBTQ individuals, and other underserved groups. We need to include comprehensive reproductive health services in the gains under ACA. We need for strive for greater diversity and cultural and linguistic competency of the health care work force. That’s why NLIRH and other health equity advocates support legislation like the Health Equity and Accountability Act. So, let’s celebrate today and move forward for health justice.
And please stay posted for more analysis on the decision and how it will impact Latinas!
As we join the call for Paycheck Fairness, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) recognizes that in the fight to achieve economic justice for all women, we must recognize, elevate, and address the unique challenges faced by Latinas and immigrant women.
According to the White House Council on Women and Girls, women make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns through employment. Yet, for Latinas, this rate is 56 cents on the dollar, which represents the largest wage gap of any other group of working women. What accounts for this widened disparity between men and Latinas, and between white women and Latinas? We know that although Latinas comprise the fastest growing community of color, more than a third do not graduate high school. Latinas experience the highest level of poverty among women in the labor force at 12.1% and have the lowest employment-to-population ratio of women of all racial and ethnic groups. Furthermore, the recession hit Latinas particularly hard as unemployment rates more than doubled for Latinas in the years between 2007 and 2010. Immigrant women and Latinas with limited English proficiency not only face systematic bars on their participation in the labor force, but also discrimination, prejudice, and bias from employers. Latina farmworkers face horrific levels of sexual violence, sexual harassment, and retaliation for reporting abuses from their employers. These factors account for the fact that Latinas are overly represented in low-wage sectors, working at jobs that provide few-to-no benefits like health insurance, paid vacation, and maternity or family leave.
We know that these pay inequities impact Latinas’ access to reproductive health care. Latinas compose the ethnic/racial group with the highest level of health care un-insurance, as they are less likely to have employer-sponsored coverage or to afford costly individual plans. And despite the enormous gains under the Affordable Care Act, or health reform law, undocumented individuals will be barred from purchasing health plans on the state health insurance exchanges and remain ineligible for Medicaid. The federally-imposed 5-year bar on legal permanent residents from accessing benefits under Medicaid blocks Latinas’ access to reproductive and sexual health care, including contraception and important preventive care such as Pap tests – and did we mention that Latinas have the highest incidence of cervical cancer of women of all racial/ethnic groups? On top of this, federal funding bans on abortion care make abortion just as inaccessible as if it were illegal for far too many Latinas.
And while NLIRH celebrates and supports the advances called for in the federal Paycheck Fairness Act, introduced to the House of Representatives by Representative Rosa DeLauro (CO-3) and in the Senate by Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD), we view this legislation as part of a comprehensive solution to economic justice for all women, including Latinas. Utilizing a comprehensive approach means addressing injustice in immigration, health care, education, and employment to reverse the culture of devaluing Latina labor. In recent years, a wave of political and policy developments in states are, instead of seeking to address the wage gap between Latinas and other groups, actively limiting Latinas’ opportunities for a quality education, optimum participation in the workforce, and the comprehensive, quality, and affordable reproductive health care needed to plan their families and their participation in the workforce.
Let’s briefly look at two states- Arizona and Alabama – where the wage rate for Latinas is 53 cents and 41 cents, respectively, for every dollar a white man earns working full-time year-round. Instead of working to elevate the economic status of Latino families, the political classes in Arizona and Alabama have embarked on a radical anti-immigrant agenda aimed directly at limiting the employment and educational opportunities of immigrant and Latino families. HB56, enacted in Alabama in 2011, requires public school boards to attain the immigration status of newly enrolling children and their parents. Section 8 of this law forbids undocumented students from attending public universities and colleges and from receiving financial assistance. And despite the recent special legislative session called by Governor Robert Bentley to address concerns in HB 56, the changes actually tack on more dangerous provisions. Both HB56 and Arizona’s SB1070 forbid employers from hiring undocumented workers, and both work to create a culture of fear and discrimination against those without papers.
At the same time, the two states in our case study here, Arizona and Alabama, have embarked on a dangerous anti-abortion and anti-family planning agenda. In both Arizona and Alabama, 20-week abortion bans disproportionately impact low-income women, including Latinas, who face numerous barriers to full information about their pregnancies, and for whom financial, geographic, and other challenges delay the process of attaining abortion care. Arizona has also put in place a race- and sex-selective abortion ban which appropriates the language of civil rights and gender equity to target the reproductive freedom of women of color. Oh yeah, and in Arizona, you are apparently pregnant two weeks before conception, so this combined with the 20-week abortion ban puts abortion care out of reach for even more Latinas.
Beyond abortion, we are seeing attacks on access to contraception and family planning programs. In Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a bill that permits “religiously-affiliated” employers to refuse to include contraception in employee health plans, a form of discrimination that intersects directly with reproductive and economic justice. And this only scratches the surface in terms of the amount roll-backs to reproductive health care access we are seeing in these and other states.
Here at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, we view the attacks on immigrant families and reproductive health as working hand-in-hand to diminish Latina opportunity. Because the question begs being asked, how can Latinas achieve their economic potential when they cannot attend university or work legally? How can Latinas fully participate in the labor force and provide for their families without the ability to space and plan their pregnancies? How can Latinas acheive equality of opportunity in the United States without equal access to health care?
Despite the enormous challenges, Latinas across the country are mobilizing for reproductive justice. Our Latina Advocacy Network in Texas is fighting against dramatic cuts to the Texas Women’s Health Program, a program which has been central to their ability access needed breast and cervical cancer screenings. Our Latina Advocacy Network in Miami is mobilizing to build broad coalitions bridging reproductive justice to other social justice work. Our Latina Advocacy Network in New York recognizes that passage of the DREAM Act, and the ability for undocumented immigrants to attain higher education, is central to the fight for reproductive justice. NLIRH is also an advisory board member of We Belong Together, a coalition united for children and families, which participated in a delegation to Alabama to bear witness to the impact of HB 56 on the lives of Alabama’s families. And through ¡Soy Poderosa!/ I am Powerful!, NLIRH’s civic engagement campaign, we will ignite the political power of all Latinas to advance health, dignity, and reproductive justice.
Together, we can make inroads in the fight for economic and paycheck fairness. However, this work must be intersectional, comprehensive, and take into account the lived experiences of all women, including Latinas. As we work to pass the important Paycheck Fairness Act, let’s also mobilize communities for immigrant rights, reduce barriers to quality and affordable health care, expand opportunities for education and job training, and last, but certainly not least, ensure that all women, including Latinas, have access to quality and affordable reproductive health care.
Today, President Barack Obama stated in a televised interview that he believes that same-sex marriage should be legal:
“At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Mr. Obama told ABC News in an interview that came after the president faced mounting pressure to clarify his position.
This is a historic moment – it is the first time that a sitting U.S. president has stated a position in favor of marriage equality.
So how does this affect the lived reality of LGBTQ Latin@s? Well not too much, yet. Though this affirmation does not have any legal effect just yet – neither the Supreme Court nor Congress seem in a rush to overturn DOMA – this “evolving” of the president’s position does indicate the increasing visibility of LGBT advocacy in the last few years, and places the President in a position to do something about making that change.
When same-sex marriage does become a reality at a national level, there will surely be benefits for LGBTQ Latin@ communities. For one, LGBTQ immigrants with U.S.-citizen partners will have the option to be petitioned for permanent residency and citizenship, in the same way that straight people are able to do currently. This would be huge for the vast number of bi-national couples who face separation or having to leave the U.S. to be together. The Uniting America Families Act – a proposed measure that would allow U.S. citizens to petition same-sex partners for citizenship – also addresses this issue for bi-national same-sex couples and has been part of NLIRH’s policy priorities, but federal marriage equality would solve this issue altogether.
Although this is a step in the right direction, legalizing same-sex marriage does not even begin to scratch the surface of the social justice issues that LGBTQ Latin@s face today. LGBTQ immigrants face numerous barriers that marriage simply does not touch, and strategies that require immigrants to couple with U.S.-nationals for citizenship will only affect a small portion of the LGBTQ immigrant community. And though legalizing same-sex marriage may mean that some LGBTQ Latin@s will be able to share their partners’ health benefits, it will not create health benefits for couples in which neither party is insured. We envision a world in which everyone has access to care and in which everyone has the right to live and work in the communities they choose, regardless of marital status. Marriage equality will create these conditions for some, but will leave many LGBTQ Latin@s with these problems unresolved.
It is a good day for LGBTQ people today, but we must not envision marriage equality as the end. Only an end to inequity can bring reproductive justice for all!