For instance, African-American women, for example, are nearly four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than White women –this disparity has not improved in 50 years. Given this appalling fact and many others like it, the NWHN has long advocated for programs and research that would eliminate health disparities.
Last month, the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) of 2014 was introduced by the Congressional Tri-Caucus, which is comprised of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. HEAA seeks to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities in health care by funding efforts to improve language-access services and culturally appropriate care, reducing barriers to health care coverage and access, and improving women’s reproductive and maternal health outcomes.
HEAA improves the health of women by promoting evidence-based sex education programs and increasing access to contraceptive products. It also improves maternity care and outcomes by supporting research on the causes of disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality and on how maternity care services can reduce these disparities. To ensure that women have maternity care options that are best for them, HEAA would also increase diversity in the maternity care workforce and access to midwifery services.
This legislation also touches on the work of our Raising Women’s Voices campaign by building on the gains for health equity achieved by the Affordable Care Act. HEAA takes the most comprehensive approach to health disparities elimination by providing federal resources, policies, and infrastructure to eliminate health disparities, with a focus on racial and ethnic minorities, and others that face additional barriers based on immigration status, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and English proficiency.
Please join with the Network to support legislation that will improve health equity for women of color! Contact your Members of Congress and ask them to stand up for women of color by co-sponsoring the Health Equity and Accountability Act; visit www.nwhn.org/HealthEquity to find out more.