On National Women’s Health Week, Our Country is committed to improving the health and well-being of women and girls across America and encouraging them to put their health first.
The White House held its first National Women’s Health Week in 2010, the same year we passed the landmark Affordable Care Act. The law ended the shameful practice of denying women access to treatment for pre-existing conditions and charging them higher medical bills simply because they are women. It extended essential preventive care, such as cancer screening, to millions more Americans and expanded access to essential health care, such as maternity care.
As President, I have worked hard to protect the expanded health care coverage provided to millions by the Affordable Care Act and to strengthen Medicaid for those who need it. At the same time, I have taken steps to improve the well-being of women and their families, including lowering prescription drug prices and saving American families hundreds of dollars a year in health insurance premiums. I am proud that our country has seen the benefits of health insurance since I took office, and I am working to ensure that health care is a right in our country, not a privilege.
But many women are still denied this right, especially when it comes to making personal decisions about their bodies and health. Last year, the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, which has taken its toll on millions of women across the country. Since then, women who have had miscarriages have been kept out of hospital rooms by medical professionals for fear of the legal consequences of providing the treatment. Women were told to wait until they were sick to see a doctor. Some are denied the advice they need, and others are forced to travel hundreds of miles from their homes and families, across state lines, to receive life-saving care.
To address this problem, I have introduced two pieces of legislation to protect women’s rights to adequate reproductive health care, including abortion and birth control. My Authority is working to ensure that patients receive treatment during their hospital stay; protect patient privacy and health information; and promoting the safety and security of patients and providers, who are providing the evidence-based, standardized care and support they are trained to provide. My administration will continue to protect access to abortion and I will continue to ask Congress to restore abortion protections Roe v. Wade in Federal law, which would protect the right to choose only once.
My administration is also leading efforts to address the maternal crisis, which has resulted in American women – particularly black and African American women – dying at a higher rate from pregnancy-related causes than in other developed countries. As part of my Women’s Health Action Plan, we have expanded Medicaid coverage after giving birth in America and have taken steps to expand and diversify the health care workforce, and we are working to improve access to care in rural areas and eliminate the systemic inequities that place it. Many women are at high risk of pregnancy.
Vice President Kamala Harris has been a leader on the issue of maternal mortality for many years, and continues to raise the issue nationally, calling on legislators, medical professionals, and private industry leaders to work together to solve the problem so that all women can getting help. they are needed before, during and after birth.
To address issues that new and expectant mothers may face, including postpartum depression, anxiety, or substance abuse problems, my Government established the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline (1-833-TLC-MAMA) and Maternal Mental Health Task Force. , who are responsible for improving women’s health in this country. We are also making additional investments in women’s health, such as expanding Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, which provide 24/7 mental health services to millions of Americans, regardless of their ability to pay. And my Budget 2024 aims to spend billions over the next 10 years to transform our health system.
Standing up for women’s health also means preventing violence against women and helping survivors find safety, justice, and healing. Last year, I was proud to reauthorize and sponsor the landmark Violence Against Women Act, which I first introduced in the United States Senate more than 30 years ago. We have increased funding for rape shelters and shelters, increased access to housing and legal aid for survivors of abusive relationships, and increased legal education and courts. We have also increased support for survivors – including addressing the needs of LGBTQI+ survivors and other vulnerable populations – and have increased safeguards to prevent online abuse, such as the unauthorized distribution of intimate images.
My Authority is fighting many Government policies that target transgender women and girls to deny or limit access to evidence-based, gender-affirming services. I have challenged my Administration to end discrimination wherever we find it and ensure that all Americans have access to health care.
The First Lady and I are committed to ending cancer as we know it through the mandated Cancer Moonshot, including the nearly one million American women who will be diagnosed with cancer this year. My Administration increased our funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which provides breast and cervical cancer screening services to low-income individuals who are uninsured or otherwise eligible for the program. We are bringing together community hospitals and advanced cancer clinics to help access life-saving tests and close the screening gap. We have also created the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to provide new, innovative ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer and other diseases.
In addition, my Administration will continue its work to prevent diseases that affect women, including heart disease and diabetes. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in this country. My Administration has a national strategy that aims to improve access to affordable, healthy food; better integration of nutrition into the health system; supporting physical activity for all; and advancing research on food and nutrition safety. At the same time, experts agree that it is important for women to have regular checkups, blood tests, vaccinations, and health care.
This week, we’re making our message clear to women and girls across America: Your health affects the future of our Nation. Achieving all that America wants will depend on the health, safety, and support we provide to all women, who are leaders in every industry, community, and family.
NOW, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 14 to May 20, 2023. , as National Women’s Health Week. During this week, I encourage all Americans to join us together to support and support the health of women and girls and promote good health for all. I encourage all women and girls to prioritize their health and get missed screenings, routine care, and vaccinations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty-three, and of the independence of the United States of America two hundred and forty-seven.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.