Your health is on the ballot this year.
The next president and his administration will take charge of a whole host of health care decisions that affect Americans—and many of those issues concern women in particular. Such as…
Background: Nearly two thirds of women in the US use some form of contraception. The Affordable Care Act mandated that employers cover birth control costs. But then in 2014, a Supreme Court decision (see: Burwell v Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc) opened the door for employers to opt out on religious grounds.
In 2018, the Trump admin issued a regulation aimed at expanding the number of companies allowed to opt out of providing contraception coverage. And earlier this year, the Supreme Court voted to uphold Trump’s regulation.
It’s estimated that this could lead to more than 125,000 women losing their birth control coverage.
...Except for religious institutions. Biden—who is Catholic—has long advocated for a compromise that doesn’t force them to go against their beliefs and provide contraception coverage.
Background: The US has the highest maternal mortality rate—aka more women die from complications during pregnancy or labor—of any developed nation. This issue also disproportionately affects minorities.
He authorized $60 million over five years to improve—and systematize—data collection on maternal deaths at the state level.
CA’s strategy involved investing in resources to gather data and investigate maternity-related deaths. The state also delivered toolkits full of educational resources and protocols to California hospitals to help standardize care and prevent common deaths.
Background: A study of 41 countries found that the US is the only one that doesn’t have national paid parental leave. And child care’s not only expensive, it’s often scarce: half of Americans live in places without licensed childcare providers nearby, or enough slots to provide care for all kids.
He signed a bill—backed by his daughter Ivanka—that requires 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees.
While it only applies to federal workers, the Trump admin has said it will work to expand the measure to include all American workers, though the specifics are unclear.
He reserved $1 billion in his 2020 budget proposal to go toward increasing affordable child care options, specifically by encouraging employers to invest in childcare.
He supports 12-week paid family leave for all working parents.
He announced a plan to invest $775 billion in the “caregiving crisis” over 10 years. The proposal includes increasing pay for child care workers, covering universal preschool, and subsidizing after-school and summer programs for low-income families.
Background: The Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade ruling in 1973 protected a woman’s right to an abortion without government restriction through her first trimester. Since then, some states have tried to challenge or weaken that right. They’ve passed laws that ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected (that can happen as early as six weeks). And have required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, claiming it’s for the mother’s safety. Now, President Trump’s nomination of conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has many wondering whether Roe v Wade could get overturned.
He supports banning abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s life.
He pledged to nominate judges and Supreme Court justices who oppose abortion.
He cut federal funding to health care providers that perform abortions, including Planned Parenthood.
His stance has changed significantly since he was elected into office. In 1999, he said he was “pro-choice in every respect.”
He vows to protect a woman’s right to an abortion. His record, however, has flipped on the issue.
He supports overturning the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s life. He once was a big supporter of the amendment.
Whether you’re undecided or know exactly who you’re voting for this year, getting informed is an essential part of being a responsible voter. Especially on issues that directly impact you, like women's health.
Skimm'd by Becky Murray and Avery Carpenter Forrey
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