The Role of Women’s Health in the Current Healthcare Debate

First off, let me just make a clarification about the use of the words “Healthcare Debate” in the above title. At this time, it is nearly impossible to call the discourse surrounding the issue of healthcare reform a “debate”. It has seemed more like two gangs of children lining up opposite each other and hurtling insults, firing at will. All that has really been accomplished with these tactics has been a very simplistic framing of the larger issue, which the media has been more than happy to reinforce. Such framing has ensured that real discussions about real issues have been totally marginalized and kept out of the greater public sphere where it most certainly belongs. In fact, and due to this framing, I would go so far as to argue that most of us really only have a tenuous grasp of the much broader discussion on healthcare. This is what led me to do some internet searching of my own to find threads of discussion that fall outside the media-reinforced framework.

In my search of various perspectives, I found that the role of Women’s Health throughout this debate has been completely pushed aside, except in those cases where there is opportunity for Pro-Choicers and Anti-Choicers to clash – the charge usually led by (surprise!) the Anti-Abortionists. Since negativity seems to make for better ratings, I feel that the role of Women’s Health within the larger debate has been, at least in the public sphere, dwarfed by this one issue, and pushed more-tempered voices aside.

Although the picture I’ve painted is pretty bleak, I came across several blogs, and other resources, working to get the message out that any legislation passed (or not passed) stands to have a strong impact on the choices women have regarding healthcare. Fortunately, on July 28, 2009, the Feminist Peace Network provided links and short reviews of several blogs and articles across the web, which focus on the absence of women’s voices in this national debate. What I find nice about this particular post is that it offers a very broad range of Women’s perspectives on the current debate and the framing thereof. Links are provided to the articles and blogs discussed, and they have also posted a link to commentary on the debate provided by Planned Parenthood. Anyone looking for an easy resource where one can gather multiple angles of the feminist position regarding healthcare reform would find the link provided below very helpful.

As a man, the information and links provided at the Feminist Peace Network turned me on to ways of thinking about Women’s Health within the context of the proposed reforms (and resulting conflicts) that I had yet even to consider. I hope that our readers will also find the link, and the views presented there, helpful, and find new ways to become passionate about this issue as I have.



  1. Lucinda Marshall
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you so much for your link to the Feminist Peace Network, however the link at the bottom is incorrect, it should be:

  2. Miyako
    Posted October 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you for the correction. I was trying to access the link aswell.

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