First 100 Days of Obama Administration Sees Women's Health Become a National Priority

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Tait Sye or Brannon Jordan, 202-973-4882

First 100 Days of Obama Administration Sees Women's Health Become a National Priority

WASHINGTON - While much attention has rightfully been paid to the Obama
administration's efforts to rebuild our economy, it is important to
note that the president has also lived up to his pledge to make sure
that strengthening women's health is a priority in his administration.

"While on the campaign trail, President Obama promised
women and their families that he would not only tackle health care
reform, but also end the politicization of women's health. And in what
by any measure has been a busy 100 days, President Obama has lived up
to that promise," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood
Federation of America. "It's been a tremendous 100 days for those of us
committed to strengthening women's health care and ensuring that young
people have the information and care they need to become healthy and
productive adults. Thanks to President Obama's leadership, health care
decisions are now being driven by sound science and not political
ideology. That's change we all can believe in - and change that will
succeed in reducing our nation's alarming rate of unintended
pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. It's change that puts
prevention first - to the benefit of all women and their families."

Since taking office, the president has shown his commitment to
women's health care on a wide range of issues, from repealing the
global gag rule, restating his commitment to protecting a woman's right
to choose, creating a White House Council on Women and Girls, expanding
access to affordable birth control, and calling for evidence-based,
medically accurate sex education.

President Obama's First 100 Days: Women's Health Becomes a National Priority

  • Health Care Reform
    - President Obama convened the White House Forum on Health Care Reform,
    signaling his commitment to ensuring every American has access to
    quality, affordable health care. PPFA President Cecile Richards was
    invited to participate and share how the organization, as a leading
    health care provider, sees the need to reform the nation's health care
    system to ensure that access to women's health is a priority.
  • Affordable Birth Control
    -The president signed legislation to restore access to affordable birth
    control for millions of college students and low-income women, and help
    ensure access to affordable contraception for millions of women,
    especially in these tough economic times.
  • Budget Priorities
    - In his proposed budget, the president included a commonsense Medicaid
    waiver to expand family planning under Medicaid and called for
    evidence-based, medically accurate sex education. 
  • Global Gag Rule
    - With the stroke of a pen, President Obama overturned the global gag
    rule and once again allowed millions of women around the world access
    to critical reproductive health care services.
  • HHS Midnight Rule
    - The Obama administration began the process of rescinding the Bush
    administration's midnight HHS regulation that limits the rights of
    patients to receive complete and accurate health care information and
    services.
  • Secretary of State
    - With the appointment of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,
    President Obama signaled his commitment to approach the issues of
    women's health and rights, family planning, and global poverty with the
    seriousness and commitment they deserve. Secretary Clinton understands
    that improving the status of women is not simply a moral imperative; it
    is necessary to building democracies around the globe.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary
    - The president, nominated longtime champion of women's health, Kansas
    Governor Kathleen Sebelius, to be the secretary of HHS.  Governor
    Sebelius has been a strong advocate for health care reform and has a
    proven track record of supporting increased access to affordable health
    care and commonsense prevention policies that improve health outcomes.
  • White House Council on Women and Girls
    - The president established the White House Council on Women and Girls
    to focus on a wide range of issues facing American women and their
    families, including the high rate of unintended pregnancies and the
    alarming number of sexually transmitted infections.
  • Plan B
    - Under the Obama administration, the FDA now supports over-the-counter
    access to Plan B (emergency contraception) for women 17 years and
    older.
  • AIDS Outreach - President Obama has made a strong
    commitment to developing a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy
    that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to
    reduce the number of HIV infections, increase access to health care,
    and reduce HIV-related health disparities to address the growing
    HIV/AIDS crisis among women and girls in the United States.

To mark the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Obama issued a strong statement
in support of women's health, saying, "We are united in our
determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for
abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make. To
accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand
access to affordable contraception, accurate health information, and
preventative services."

The president's determination to make women's health a priority is
vitally important, given that America currently leads the most
developed countries in the world in the rate of teenage pregnancies, at
least one in four teenage girls has a sexually transmitted infection
that could alter the course of her life, and an estimated 750,000
teenagers will become pregnant this year.

These tough economic times are especially difficult for women
struggling to pay for basic health care. According to the Women's
Research and Education Institute, women of childbearing age spend 68
percent more in out-of-pocket health care costs than men, in part
because of reproductive health-related supplies and services.

Americans are doing the best they can to make healthy decisions that
protect themselves and their families, but a new study from the Center
for American Progress indicates 14,000 Americans are losing health
coverage every day, making access to basic reproductive health care
more important than ever.

As the nation's most trusted reproductive health care provider and
advocate, Planned Parenthood is committed to ensuring that all
Americans have access to the quality, affordable health care services
they deserve.

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Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is many things to many people. We are a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital health care services, sex education, and sexual health information to millions of women, men, and young people.

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