What’s at Stake for Health Equity in the 2016 Election?
By Miriam Berg | Dec. 22, 2015, 11:53 a.m.
Category: Health Care Equity, Voting
The unrelenting and unprecedented wave of attacks on reproductive health and rights has a devastating effect on the lives of people seeking health care. That’s why, this election, Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations are fighting to elect leaders who will protect reproductive health care for everyone.
Inequality in Health Care Access
All people should have equal access to reproductive health care. And yet women of color, immigrant women, and LGBTQ people are disproportionately impacted by restrictions on health care access. For many, birth control and abortion are out of reach because of their income, where they live, or because their boss objects to it.
It’s a fact: Access to reproductive health care, and resulting health care issues, are worse for marginalized communities.
LGBTQ people’s reproductive health needs often go unmet by a system that has traditionally marginalized such care.
By every measure of reproductive health — including maternal and infant mortality, rate of unintended pregnancy, the prevalence of HIV infection, and STDs — people of color experience significant health disparities.
Undocumented immigrants — as well as recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a deportation relief program — are prohibited from accessing basic health insurance coverage through Medicaid and Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans.
What is Health Care Equity?
Before understanding what health care equity is, it’s important to understand the difference between equality and equity.
Equality gives everyone the same things, ignoring differences.
Equity gives everyone what they need, depending on their individual situation.
Reproductive health equity gives people what they need to have a fair chance at sexual and reproductive well-being. That means your race, ethnicity, gender, income, sexual orientation, or neighborhood does not disadvantage you from accessing the quality and affordable health care services you need to live a life of reproductive health.
We need to end discrimination in access to reproductive health care while creating equitable access to affordable health insurance, birth control, and abortion. That’s why the 2016 election is so important.
Going on Offense in the 2016 Election
Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations are going on offense, and the values driving our offensive strategy hinge on access to safe and legal abortion, sex education, and reproductive health care writ large. We’re working toward a vision of America where inequity in access to reproductive health care is no more.
That’s why we’re fighting to get out the vote for leaders who:
Know your income should not determine whether you can access abortion
Support Medicaid expansion, which means better access to cancer screenings, birth control and other preventive services — particularly in underserved communities
Push for policies that give undocumented immigrants meaningful access to state and federal health programs
Advance laws that stop discrimination in health care based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity
Support requirements for hospitals to give people access to birth control and information about all of their pregnancy options, including abortion
Promote foreign policy that protects women and girls around the world and makes them central partners in achieving human rights goals
ON THE CANDIDATES
Want more? See where the presidential candidates stand on all of the most important issues for reproductive health, including safe and legal abortion, affordable birth control, and access to care at Planned Parenthood.
Join the Fight
Access to care shouldn’t depend on who we are, where we work, or where we live. Together, we will elect leaders who will help eliminate inequity in access to reproductive health care.
We can't let attacks on reproductive care keep happening. Now more than ever is the time to fight back. Now is the time to join the I Vote Planned Parenthood Action campaign!
Tags: LGBT, Hillary Clinton, Election 2016, Black community, Immigrants, Health Equity, Discrimination, people of color, African Americans, LGBTQ