The people you elect as your state, local and federal government officials have the power to pass policies, regulations and laws that can help — or harm — your health.
That’s why our policy and advocacy team serves as your voice – evaluates and develops national and state policies to hold elected officials accountable for addressing issues most critical to Black women’s health, especially regarding: breast and cervical cancers, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, intimate partner violence and sexual assault, maternal health and reproductive health.
We are also leading the effort to create the first National Health Policy Agenda for Black women.
BWHI Policy Priorities:
- Access to quality, affordable, and innovative approaches to provide comprehensive health care for Black women and girls.
- Equitable and adequate response for public health emergencies.
- Sufficient diversity in clinical research.
- Sustained financial support for HBCUs.
ADVOCATE FOR YOUR HEALTH
Here are 6 ways you can advocate for your health:
- Register to vote and then vote like your health depends on it!
- Call, email and meet with your local, state and federal policymakers
- Organize events in your community to educate and activate your neighbors around health issues
- Speak to your employer about health care services to cover in insurance plans
- Talk about health care issues you care about on social media
- Tell your story! Have you overcome a health challenge or want politicians and others to know how an illness have impacted you or your family, let us know. We’d love to share your story.
POLICIES IMPACTING BLACK WOMEN
Health care coverage:
- Policies to repeal the ACA will result in Black women losing access to affordable, quality maternity care, preventative services, and other essential health benefits. These policies could result in more Black women dying or suffering from avoidable diseases and conditions, going without necessary health care, or incurring significant medical debt.
- Policies to improve the maternal health outcomes experienced by Black women. Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications and 3-4 times more likely to suffer from severe disability resulting from childbirth compared to White women. These policies will improve the preconception health of Black women, as well as prevent the avoidable deaths of thousands of pregnant Black women.
POLICY WINS FOR BLACK WOMEN’S HEALTH
- New York State regulation: (February 2017) Insurers must cover medically necessary 3-D mammograms without co-pays, coinsurance or deductibles.
- • Nationally, 6,063 Black women died from breast cancer in 2013. Black women have a 43% higher breast cancer death rate, are diagnosed at a much later stage, have a higher incidence of more aggressive breast cancers, and lower breast cancer survival rates.
- Black women tend to have dense breast tissue, which poses a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Dense breast tissue also makes it more difficult to detect breast cancer using traditional, older screening technology.
- 3-D mammograms can more accurately detect breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue, reducing unnecessary callbacks for more tests and late diagnoses, which are stressful for patients and increase health care costs.
New York State private insurers must cover the ACA’s 10 Essential Health Benefits, “medically necessary” abortions, and the dispensing of up to 12 months of a contraceptive without a co-payment (regulations).
- • Black women are more likely than their White counterparts to experience an unintended pregnancy because they are more likely to have difficulty paying for and accessing contraceptives and abortion services.
- When Black women have access to affordable abortion services and contraceptives, they can achieve higher levels of educational and career advancement, and reduce the likelihood of economic insecurity by the prevention of unintended pregnancies.