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Latino Daily News

Wednesday September 21, 2011

Health Advocates Urging Politicians to Support Health Care Access for Latinas

Health Advocates Urging Politicians to Support Health Care Access for Latinas

Photo: Reproductive health care for Latinas

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As Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off, Planned Parenthood and other national leaders working on Latina health and justice issues are asking elected officials to recognize the disparate impact that federal and state health care policies are having on Latino families, and to oppose proposals that contribute to these health disparities.

New census data last week revealed record numbers of people living in poverty and without health insurance, and Latino families represent a disproportionate percentage of those in need.

Despite the high rate of unemployment and growing number of uninsured Americans, politicians have been slashing funds for health care, with a particular focus on blocking access to reproductive health care, including birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, testing and treatment of STDs, and other essential services.

Further, a recent survey conducted by Hart Research Associates and commissioned by Planned Parenthood Action Fund found that 57 percent of young Latina women 18–34 have struggled with the cost of prescription birth control.

In response, Latino families and advocates are becoming even more vocal in opposing these drastic cuts and supporting policies that could increase access to family planning—including the new HHS guidelines which include birth control as a women’s preventive health care service provided at no-cost as part of the health care reform law.

In the past two weeks alone, the National Institute for Reproductive Health and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, joined by the National Council of La Raza, held a joint media briefing to focus on Latinos and reproductive health care and hosted a well-attended breakfast meeting at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s public policy conference.