With President Obama’s inauguration came the unveiling of the new White House web site. Of particular interest to our Women’s Rights readers may be the agenda on women. This web page begins with a quote from a 2005 speech by Mr. Obama:
From the first moment a woman dared to speak that hope — dared to believe that the American Dream was meant for her too — ordinary women have taken on extraordinary odds to give their daughters the chance for something else; for a life more equal, more free, and filled with more opportunity than they ever had. In so many ways we have succeeded, but in so many areas we have much work left to do.
Some of this work left to do, as outlined in the agenda, includes:
- Ensuring that all Americans have health care coverage by the end of the new administration’s first term in office.
- Supporting research into women’s health – including addressing issues such as heart disease and ovarian cancer.
- Supporting stem cell research to explore the possibility of treating millions of people suffering from debilitating and life-threatening diseases.
- Reducing domestic violence by strengthening laws and providing grants for education.
- And last but not least, supporting a woman’s right to choose.
I encourage the readers of this blog to visit the agenda on women’s web page, and let us know what you think by commenting below. What are you pleased about – and what do you see lacking?
To help start the conversation, here are a few random comments from American women:
“In the area of family planning, we need to have much more educational outreach and a communications program that addresses the large responsibilities and costs associated with having children,” says Maria Fotopoulos of Los Angeles, California. “The U.S. population growth rate is now the highest among developed countries and exceeds that of China. The Obama administration needs to talk about overpopulation in this country.”
Kelly Damron of Phoenix, Arizona says: “Hopefully, there will be a focus on sexually transmitted diseases since this can cause infertility later in a woman’s life. I would like to see on this agenda the issue of national insurance coverage for infertility treatments. There are more women impacted by infertility than breast or ovarian cancers. Contrary to public opinion, infertility is not a lifestyle choice, it is a medical issue.”
Damron adds, “It is great that [President Obama] is interested in promoting the research of and donation of leftover embryos from infertility treatments. My husband and I had leftover embryos and we would have preferred to donate them to science, but our clinic didn’t provide that option.”
Liz Scherer of Maryland, who hosts a popular blog with a focus on menopause, reminds us that post-reproductive health issues must be addressed. “I think that it’s wonderful that the new administration is focusing on health reform, particularly when it comes to women. But it’s important to focus not only on reproductive health and prevention, but also post-reproductive health and issues that accompany aging. Too often, we forget that our population is growing older and that women’s health concerns change with each decade.”
And Heidi Waterfield of San Francisco, California had this to sum up: “It’s ironic that our last president and our current both have two daughters, yet only President Obama seems committed to creating more opportunity for his, and other, girls. Obama comes across as committed to helping women achieve equal pay and education, retain control over their own bodies, and remain safe – I think his agenda for women looks terrific!”