Solidarity group sees threats to women’s health

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

We are the Deerfield chapter of Solidarity Sundays, a nationwide advocacy group working for peace, justice, and equity. We are also local therapists, educators, and mothers — and as such, we are writing to express our grave concerns about women’s health and reproductive rights in this country, especially in the wake of the U.S. House vote on the American Health Care Act proposed by Speaker Paul Ryan and supported by President Donald Trump. According to that bill, just being a woman is a pre-existing condition — many of the “illnesses” that could result in denial of coverage are gender-specific, including postpartum depression, C-sections, and menstrual irregularities.

The AHCA would allow states to opt-out of requiring that insurance plans provide “essential care benefits,” such as birth control. Insurance plans that cover abortion would diminish because they would lose federal tax dollars, and pregnant women would likely have to pay much higher premiums for maternity care. We should all be concerned about the impact these proposed changes would have on our neighbors, friends, and loved ones here in Franklin County, as the AHCA would disproportionately affect low-income women.

The bill now heads to the Senate. We need Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey to support a health care plan that will protect the health of all women — not put us at a disadvantage because of the bodies we have. Thank you.

Melissa Dickey

Deerfield chapter of Solidarity Sundays