Washington, D.C. – Today, The Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) joined Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to introduce the Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act of 2019. The legislation would expand access to preventive, lifesaving women’s health screenings at safety net healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood. Specifically, the bill would create new grant and pilot programs to expand access to preventive services and better train health practitioners, especially in treating low-income women and women of color.
Jeanette Acosta – a native of California’s 34th congressional district – was a fierce women’s health advocate, a former Congressional staffer, and a White House intern in the Obama administration. In 2017, she lost her battle with cervical cancer at the age of 32. To announce the introduction of the bill, BWHI President & CEO Linda Goler Blount attended a press event with Congressman Gomez, Jeanette’s parents, Dr. Frank Acosta and Mrs. Maryann Acosta, and brother Robert Acosta, Planned Parenthood President and CEO Dr. Leana Wen, and Human Rights Watch U.S. Program Advocacy Director Jasmine Tyler.
“Jeanette Acosta had a bright future, full of promise,” said Linda Goler Blount, President and CEO, Black Women’s Health Imperative. “No woman should die from a disease that is preventable, yet Hispanic women are 60% more likely to be diagnosed with and 30% more likely to die from cervical cancer than white women. It is impossible to address the disproportionate impact of this illness on women of color without acknowledging the implicit bias that exists among health care providers. Our commitment to women of color ensures this legislation addresses the need for cultural sensitivity and unconscious bias training, which is a vital component to delivering life-saving, comprehensive preventive care to women who not only need it, but deserve it.”
The Black Women’s Health Imperative is a national non-profit organization dedicated to advancing health equity and social justice for Black women, across lifespan, through policy, advocacy, education, research and leadership development. The organization identifies the most pressing health issues that affect the nation’s 22 million Black women and girls and invests in the best of the best strategies, affiliates and organizations that accomplish its goals.
The following organizations have endorsed the Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act of 2019:
|American Medical Student Association|
|American Society for Reproductive Medicine|
|Black Women’s Health Imperative|
|Human Rights Watch|
|In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda|
|National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)|
|National Black Nurses Association|
|National Council of Jewish Women|
|National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association|
|National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health|
|National Organization for Women|
|National Partnership for Women & Families|
|National Women’s Law Center|
|Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA)|
|Planned Parenthood Federation of America|
|Prevent Cancer Foundation|
|Secular Coalition for America|
|URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity|
Click here to read this legislation in its entirety.
Click here to view a briefing from an earlier version of this legislation introduced in the 115th Congress.
To learn more about the Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act of 2019, please contact Tammy Boyd, Chief Policy Officer, Black Women’s Health Imperative: firstname.lastname@example.org.