McAuliffe launches women’s health policy

terry mcauliffe2Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe launched his women’s health policy “Healthy Women, Healthy Families” today and met with a group of women and students in Virginia Beach to discuss protecting women’s access to preventive care in the Commonwealth.

“I firmly believe that women should be able to make their own healthcare decisions without interference from Richmond or Washington,” said McAuliffe. “Virginia women deserve to know that their next governor will protect their rights to access health care and preventive care services.”

“Healthy Women, Healthy Families” includes measures to ensure women have access to critical preventive health services and birth control, support for Medicaid expansion, and McAuliffe’s commitment to defending women’s rights to make the health care decisions that are best for them and their families.

During the event, McAuliffe stressed that he would never support “personhood” legislation, which experts warn could ban many common forms of birth control like the pill, and which has been supported for years by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. “This is not just an equality issue or even just an economic issue,” said McAuliffe. “We need to empower women across the Commonwealth, not put politicians between them and their doctors when they are making personal healthcare decisions.”

McAuliffe’s full policy is below:

Healthy Women, Healthy Families: Protecting Women’s Access to Healthcare in the Commonwealth

Protecting women’s access to quality healthcare and preventive services is fundamental to guaranteeing equal rights for all Virginians.  Women in the Commonwealth should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies and their healthcare without interference from Richmond or Washington. As governor, Terry McAuliffe will be committed to protecting Virginia women’s access to vital and often lifesaving preventive health services, ensuring access to birth control and contraception, and defending women’s right to make the health care decisions that are best for them and their families.

1.     Support vital preventive care.  Preventive care services such as cancer screenings, mammograms and heart disease testing save money and extend and improve Virginia women’s lives. By catching diseases early and ensuring access to requisite treatment and care, Virginia women can live longer, healthier lives. As governor, Terry will support and accept Medicaid expansion, which will provide healthcare access and coverage to 400,000 Virginians, and create an estimated more than 30,000 jobs. Terry will also support Virginia’s Plan First program, which provides access to birth control and family planning services for eligible Virginians.

2.     Healthy mothers, healthy babies. All women should have access to the care and services they need to ensure a healthy pregnancy and provide their children with a healthy start in life. Virginia’s child healthcare insurance program, FAMIS, provides access to health insurance and medical care for children, while FAMIS MOMS provides coverage for pregnant women. With a wealth of research demonstrating the critical importance of proper health care and nutrition in children’s growth and development, these programs deserve the Commonwealth’s full support. As governor Terry will increase funding for FAMIS and restore and increase funding for FAMIS MOMS to ensure women and their children have access to the care they need.

3.     Protect all forms of birth control. Access to birth control and common forms of contraception like the pill is critically important for Virginia women and families. Terry will not support any legislation that would ban contraception, including so-called “personhood” bills that could ban common forms of birth control like the pill.

4.     Rollback unnecessary restrictions on women’s health centers.  As governor, Terry will work to reverse recent extreme, ideologically driven efforts to apply unnecessary regulations to women’s health centers – threatening the majority of them with closure. Doctors and medical experts agree these restrictions do nothing to protect the health and safety of women, and only serve to cut off women’s access to vital preventive care.

5.     Defend women’s reproductive rights. The ability to plan their families has been critical to women’s strides in education, the workplace, and the home. Family planning decisions are best made between a woman and her doctor, without interference from legislators in Richmond or Washington. As governor, Terry will protect women’s access to all healthcare options available under Virginia law, including women’s right to make their own healthcare decisions and access to safe and legal abortion.

6.     Promote accurate, informed healthcare decision-making. Ensuring women receive accurate and medically appropriate information without political interference is incredibly important as women’s health has increasingly become a target of extreme lawmakers who often think they know better than doctors and patients. Limiting political interference in the doctor-patient relationship is critical to ensuring women receive medically accurate information and care, allowing doctors to provide and recommend all available health care options, and improving health outcomes. The same applies to younger women. By focusing teen health education on evidence-based instruction, Virginia can make proven strides toward reducing teen pregnancy, creating a brighter future for our children and families.


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