From Frugivore — Last week, the Institute of Medicine recommended to the Department of Health and Human Services eight preventative health services and screenings aimed at improving the quality of women’s health and wellness. There is a lot of praise from women for the department’s suggestion that eliminating costly insurance co-pays for birth control will help lift the burden placed on underprivileged women regarding the health of their bodies.
While there are recognized gaps in preventative services for women of color, we should take a step back to look at what these recommendations imply about poor women in general. Undoubtedly, most of these programs are needed immediately and will help identify and meet the critical care needs of women, but, conversely, the programs don’t address the systemic problems that create the poor conditions–which, if left unchecked, will create not only resentment among tax-payers, who fund these programs, but new externalities, which are unpredictable without addressing the fundamental deficiencies in the health care system with careful and compassionate analysis.
There is a current study out of New Zealand that documents the decrease of repeat abortions among underprivileged women after their government offered intrauterine device, or IUD free of charge. According to Jezebel, the main reason the program worked was that women were able to use their rational facilities to make a choice sans their pocketbook.