The State of Women's Health

The Need for Women’s Healthcare

By Katie Dudley

women's health infographicAccording to Planned Parenthood, the rate of cervical cancer for women in the state of Texas ranks top 10 nationally. Take a look at the graphic to see the number of cases projected for 2012. Most unnerving is cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and detectable cancers.

Screening for cancers is just one part of an entire wellness package that is preventive care. Aside from cancer screenings and/or pregnancy issues, sexual reproductive counseling including how to prevent STD’s, breastfeeding support and training, depression, and even domestic violence screening and counseling are part of a complete women’s health program.

Women’s preventive care saves lives and money.

Affordable clinics allow for women to treat health problems before they escalate to the point of needing emergency room care. Angela Nguyen, a licensed clinical social worker who’s worked in emergency rooms in both Boston and Austin, says they regularly receive patients who have foregone care due to cost and as a result are suffering severe side effects from otherwise easily treatable diseases. She also said they receive patients in the emergency room for such routine procedures as pregnancy tests and STD screenings. According to Nguyen, this method is lacking in the ability to perform proper follow-up care and extremely costly.

Access to affordable preventive care also gives women the power to decide when and if they are going to start a family. Access to contraception dramatically reduces unplanned pregnancy as well as abortion. It is far more effective than no method at all, in fact in the United States each year, contraception prevents nearly 2 millon unplanned pregnancies. When women are able to plan and space their pregnancies it allows them to have healthier pregnancies and the opportunity to achieve their educational or financial goals.

In the video you’ll see Nguyen along with Amelia Long of the Lilith Fund discuss further the need for accessible preventive care.