America has failed women in regards to their healthcare


Lenore Ferguson, Staff Writer

2020 has shed light on a wide range of issues, most of which remain unresolved. An unstable healthcare system; however, is certainly not a new issue for America. 
Healthcare, for women especially, is seen as a luxury due to non-guaranteed health insurance and politics interfering with necessary medical procedures. Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA), frequently known as Obamacare, has helped approximately 8.1 million women purchase affordable insurance, the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit organization, found that a little over one in 10 women are left uninsured.
Because of issues such as insurance, women’s healthcare is often discussed by politicians. 

“I feel like it’s good that [women’s healthcare is] mentioned in political debates because it shows our progression,” senior Taylor Winslow said. 

However, Winslow is skeptical of the idea of men discussing women’s healthcare. 

“I’m scared that [women’s] health is going to be controlled by a bunch of white men sitting around a table discussing what they would want [women] to do,” Winslow said. 

Others are simply confused as to why women’s healthcare is a topic of discussion in politics altogether. 

“I don’t exactly know why [women’s healthcare is discussed in politics], but I think it is partially politicians thinking of [women] as objects or lesser than them, or because topics like abortion are very controversial and men think they belong in that decision,” junior Morgan Switsky said. 

Junior Ava McKenzie agrees that women are not represented enough in the political sphere to adequately advocate for American women’s healthcare. 

“[Women’s] healthcare is put up for discussion in the way that men’s healthcare is not,” McKenzie said. “Women are seen as a lesser group of people through society’s lens, even if individually, we don’t believe that.”  

If more women voice their thoughts on healthcare, specifically female senators, American healthcare could improve. Foundations such as Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains could further help women get screenings for breast cancer and cervical cancer.
Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood is a foundation seen as problematic by many male senators because one of the many medical procedures they provide is abortion (although only three percent of their services are abortions). However, if more senators show their support for foundations focusing on women’s health, more opinions could be heard by the senate, ergo improving the healthcare system as a whole. 
Provided that many violations of women’s right to healthcare pertain to reproductive health, there is an extremely high maternal mortality rate in America. According to The Commonwealth Fund, out of 10 other high-income nations (such as Canada and Germany), American women have the highest maternal mortality rates with 14 maternal deaths out of 100,000 live births. 
America prides itself when it comes to freedoms, rights and health, but women’s healthcare is less than satisfactory. 

“I do not think women’s healthcare is prioritized enough in this country,” McKenzie said. “Adequate healthcare is not accessible enough for the majority of Americans.”

Though statistics along with America’s past may seem discouraging, women from coast to coast are optimistic and proud of their gender identity as the fight continues for improved healthcare. 

“I’m passionate about being a woman. I’m happy that [women] have gained such a voice and we can be so vocal and that we’ve got positions of power over time,” Winslow said. “I’m really grateful to live in an era where it’s normal to see women in politics.”

Artwork by Lenore Ferguson