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Celebrate National Women's Health Week!

Posted by Ellen Newcomb, Program Assistant | Posted on: May 11, 2009 at 05:08 pm

by Ellen Newcomb, Program Assistant, 
National Women's Law Center 

Yesterday was the kickoff of National Women’s Health Week and the Office of Women’s Health is encouraging women to celebrate by making positive changes to their lifestyles that will promote good health. Women are encouraged to eat a nutritious diet, avoid risky behaviors such as smoking or not wearing a seatbelt, exercise regularly, and to take care of their mental health by avoiding stress and getting plenty of sleep.

To get the ball rolling for the week, the Office of Women’s Health has deemed today, May 11, as National Women’s Checkup Day. They have provided an online health screening tool that women can use to see what preventive care health services they need according to their age. After using the screening tool, women can fill out a pledge proclaiming that they will set up an appointment with their doctor to take care of recommended tests and immunizations within ninety days. Sounds great, right? Well… yes. If you have access to a health care provider and can afford it. Which leaves a lot of women out of luck.

Almost one in five women in the United States doesn’t have health insurance and the number is growing as layoffs and bankruptcies continue. One in four women reports not being able to afford her medical bills. Women across the country are struggling to pay for health care and due to prohibitive costs, women are more likely than men – regardless of insurance status – to have left a prescription unfilled, not seen a specialist when needed, skipped a medical test, treatment, or follow-up, or had a medical problem but not seen a doctor or clinic.

This leaves these millions of women and their families with a huge dilemma. Do you go to the doctor and get the tests you need – even if it means not paying the rent this month? Or do you keep your fingers crossed, pray for the best and avoid spending any money on health care?

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Weekly Round-Up

Posted by NWLC, Intern | Posted on: May 11, 2009 at 04:43 pm

by Natalie Monkou, Communications Intern,
and Katrina Tsukuda, Outreach Intern, 
National Women's Law Center

In the New York Times’ Economix blog, Casey B. Mulligan reported on a recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that women may make up the majority of the U.S. labor force by this summer.

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Supreme Court Nominees: Wake Me Up When We Actually Start Talking About Qualifications

Posted by Amy K. Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts | Posted on: May 10, 2009 at 12:30 pm

by Amy Matsui, Senior Counsel, 
National Women's Law Center 

Here at NWLC, we get very excited about Supreme Court nominations – we’re a legal organization, we litigate before the Court, we think and talk and write an awful lot about where the law is going on issues important to women and what that means to women across the country – you get the idea.  We’re especially engaged right now in urging the President to nominate another woman to replace Justice Souter.

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Policy Update: President Obama Releases Detailed Budget

Posted by | Posted on: May 09, 2009 at 03:25 am

President Obama’s detailed budget for Fiscal Year 2010 makes investments critical to the well-being of women and their families, especially in the areas of health care and education. Yet the fine print also retains restrictions on reproductive health.

Overall, the budget represents an important change in direction from the past eight years. However, given the enormous challenges that families and communities are facing, this budget could and should do even more to address rising needs. For more information, visit NWLC's website.

Some highlights of how the budget affects women and families include:

  • Health Care: The President’s budget brings the nation one step closer to making health care reform that meets the needs of women and their families a reality this year. It creates a reserve fund of more than $600 billion, which will serve as a “down payment” on health reform.
  • Reproductive Health: The budget eliminates wasteful abstinence-only programs and allows states to provide more support for contraception through the Medicaid program. Unfortunately, the budget retains harmful and unjust restrictions on the use of public funds for abortion care and provides only level or insufficient funding increases for several programs that provide essential services for women, including Title X family planning.
  • Child Care and Early Education: The President’s budget funds several new early childhood initiatives. However, the budget provides only a modest increase for Head Start, and no increase in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant to supplement temporary funding for 2009 and 2010 in the Economic Recovery Act. Full details are available on NWLC's website.
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Mother of the Year Video

Posted by Melanie Ross Levin, Director of Outreach | Posted on: May 08, 2009 at 04:07 pm

by Melanie Ross Levin, Outreach Manager, 
National Women's Law Center 

Flowers. Chocolates. Candy. These are all gifts we associate with Mother’s Day. But thanks to MomsRising, you can also do something else.

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Justice Souter, Where Would We Have Been Without You?

Posted by Amy K. Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts | Posted on: May 08, 2009 at 12:30 pm

by Amy Matsui, Senior Counsel, 
National Women's Law Center 

Since Justice Souter’s impending retirement was announced, people have been looking back over his 20-year career on the Supreme Court. We’re no exception. 

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Only the Lonely: Women on the Bench

Posted by Arlene Brens, Fellow | Posted on: May 07, 2009 at 07:08 pm

by Arlene Brens, Fellow, 
National Women's Law Center 

Over the past three decades, an increasing number of women have joined the legal profession. In recent years, law schools have seen the number of female students increase, so that they now make up nearly half of all law students. In 2008, one-third of lawyers were women. But the federal judiciary has a long way to go before it reflects the current face of the profession.

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