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ACOG Applauds Congressional Introduction of Women's Health Care Reform Plan

February 11, 2009

Washington, DC -- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) today applauds Senator Debbie Stabenow and Representative Jan Schakowsky for introducing legislation that calls on Congress and President Obama to enact health care reform that fully addresses the health care needs of women. The resolution is based on ACOG's Health Care for Women, Health Care for All campaign.

"The Health Care for Women resolution introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) sends a strong signal to everyone involved in the health care reform debate, that health care reform must be accomplished this year and that no reform is complete without fully and specifically addressing women's health," says ACOG Immediate Past President Kenneth L. Noller, MD, MS.

The congressional resolution calls for legislation that guarantees health care for women and all individuals and establishes coverage that enables women to attain good health throughout their lives-from childhood and adolescence, through the reproductive years and childbirth, and into menopause and beyond. The resolution closely echoes ACOG's Health Care for Women, Health Care for All campaign.

"Right now, more than 17 million women in the US have no health insurance," adds Dr. Noller. "As ob-gyns, we see the unfortunate effects of being underinsured or uninsured. Health care coverage is more important than ever in today's economic crisis."

According to ACOG, uninsured women are three times less likely to have had a Pap test in the last three years, with a 60% greater risk of late-stage cervical cancer. Breast cancer is 30% to 50% more fatal to uninsured women. Pregnancy-related maternal deaths are 3-4 times higher among women who receive no prenatal care. And going without prenatal care increases infant death rates by more than six times.

For more information about ACOG's Health Care for Women, Health Care for All: A Reform Agenda, go to www.acog.org/goto/healthcarereform.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is the national medical organization representing over 53,000 members who provide health care for women.