BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

It’s Not an Obama Thing; It’s a Families Need Healthcare Thing

Posted by YWM on March 7, 2012

Remarks delivered by

Byllye Avery, Co-Founder, Raising Women’s Voices for Health Care
at the HERvotes Press Conference March 1, 2012

In 1970, three organizations, National Women’s Health Network, Mergerwatch and Avery Institute for Social Change founded Raising Women’s Voices to make sure women’s voices and needs were a part of health care discussions and reform legislation.

We are pleased to join HERvotes at this press conference because of its commitment to look at the full spectrum of women’s lives and all of the issues facing women and their families.  Because we know that everything is interrelated.

Women’s health care is under attack at the local, state and federal level, with direct aim being taken at reproductive health.  While reproductive health is important to us other issue are also important such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, prevention services, violence against women, maternity care, and most importantly access to affordable quality care.

What good is it to live in a country that brags about having the best health care in the world if you can’t get it?  We measure our health care system from the wrong end of the stick.

The Affordable Care Act (ACE) is one of the best pieces of legislation ever passed, since Medicare and Social Security. It has the potential of providing affordable care, well-women services, ending discrimination in care, and enforcement of best medical practices.  It can do for the health of women and their families in this country what Title IX has done for women in sports.

When I talk to women of color they understand and fully support ACE.  It means health coverage and access that can improve qualify of life for themselves and their families.  This isn’t an Obama thing; it is a families need healthcare thing.

We need the ideological attacks against women’s access to reproductive services and the hostile legislation targeting women at all levels of government to stop.

We say to the press – Talk to the Women.  We demand that politicians start focusing on the tough domestic and global issues our country faces and we say to them – Stop your cowardly firing at women’s health from the comfort of your cultural war bunkers.

We are proud that Bylly Avery is our guest blogger today.  She is truly an historic woman living in our time.  Ms. Avery, Founder of the Avery Institute for Social Change and the National Black Women’s Health Project,  has dedicated her life to helping and inspiring women.  A winner of the MacArthur Foundation Genius award, she has been honored more times than we can list but here are just a few: Lifetime Television’s Trailblazer Award, Essence magazine Award for Community Service and the President’s Citation of the American Public Health Association.  She is a clinical professor at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, an advisor to the National Institutes of Health, and was a visiting fellow at Harvard School of Public Health.

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One Response to “It’s Not an Obama Thing; It’s a Families Need Healthcare Thing”

  1. C.Heidt-Chestnut said

    I just have one question: Why is it necessary to label a national health project ‘Black’. Does this mean that Ms.Avery only cares about Black women? When are we going to become ‘One Nation under God’?

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