LETTERS: Economic recovery demands health care access

Editor: The COVID-19 pandemic devastated the U.S. economy, with women—especially women of color, low-income women and undocumented women—bearing the brunt of the crisis. A lack of access to affordable reproductive health care paired with existing racial and gender inequities hinders their ability to achieve economic security and fully participation in the economy. New research from the Center on the Economics of Reproductive Health estimates as much as $105 billion dollars are lost per year by reducing labor force participation and earnings levels and increasing turnover and time off from work among women of reproductive age.

The data also demonstrates that wages grew more rapidly when women had access to contraception, resulting in substantially higher earnings. Creating equitable economic recovery requires us to look for ways to ensure that all women are empowered to make the reproductive health choices that are in the best interest of themselves, their families, and their careers. It is time for lawmakers to take bold action. This bill establishes a program within our state Medicaid program to cover contraception for undocumented people and allows for people who use Medicaid benefits to get a one year supply of contraception.

The General Assembly needs to look for innovative ways to address the very real challenges facing our communities. I hope you will join me in urging lawmakers to take an important first step by passing Senate Bill 9.

—Karla Gonzales Garcia, via [email protected]

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Joe Felice
Joe Felice
1 year ago

And better education.