By Ann Rose Greenberg, JWI Marketing Coordinator
“You don’t actually need a Pap test right now, but you’re here and you’re ready, and that’s rare, so let’s just do it,” my doctor said at my last checkup. Now, I’m pretty good at scheduling annual (more-or-less) physicals, and actually going to them, so my being there wasn’t actually rare. What she meant is that far too many women neglect their preventative care and don’t receive the tests they need to ensure their healthy futures.
Women have preventative health care needs , including mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, prenatal care, reproductive care, and more. High costs, both for insurance and for services not covered by insurance, often prevent women from seeking these services. Additionally, women often oversee the healthcare for their families, and often view their own health care as a lower priority. According to the National Women’s Law Center, 6 out of 10 women do not receive regular Pap smears, even though cervical cancer is highly treatable when identified early. We need to change the way women think about preventative healthcare.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has improved access to women’s preventative care. In addition to services such as mammograms and cervical cancer screenings, the ACA also provides coverage for well-woman visits, contraception, and domestic violence screening, all with no out-of-pocket costs. Taking care of ourselves is now a little bit easier.
This week is National Women’s Health Week, and we recommit to making access to women’s healthcare easy and affordable. This week, we can all pledge to do more to take care of ourselves, and we can encourage the women we love to do the same. It doesn’t have to be a big change; the little ones are important too. We can pledge to get more sleep, to eat healthier foods, to be more active, or to visit the doctor.
What changes do you plan to make?
This blog is part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.