WHAMglobal Hosts 2020 Election Town Hall: What’s at Stake for Women+

 On October 15, the Women's Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal) convened expert health and policy leaders for a discussion of crucial women+ health issues and policy points. Over 50 attendees joined via Zoom and 1,442 people were reached via Facebook Live.

The town hall highlighted that much is at stake for women+ when elections occur that select leaders who will make policy for years to come. The Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and Title X have been vital sources of health services funding and resulted from national leaders with an eye to women's health.

Women carry much of the burden for the safety, health, and health care of families, the panelists noted. Children's rights, elder rights, equal pay, safe housing, and clean water are all "women's health issues." This calls for a deliberate integration of care models that address physical, social, environmental and emotional health for women in critical periods--puberty, maternity, menopause and older age. To support pregnant and birthing women, bipartisan policies should promote the licensure of doulas, midwives, and perinatal community health workers, and fund more comprehensive maternal health and child development centers.

Members of the transgender and LGBTQIA+ communities and Black, indigenous, and racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities continue to experience serious health disparities. Policies that address systemic racism, and implement implicit bias training, can promote health and even lower maternal mortality rates.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, the incoming Chief Clinical Diversity & Inclusion Officer for Allegheny Health Network. Panelists included State Representative Sara Innamorato; State Representative Morgan Cephas; Usha Ranji, M.S. Kaiser Family Foundation Associate Director, Women's Health Policy; Tracey Conti, M.D., Letterman Family Health Center; Daeja Baker, Pittsburgh Feminists for Intersectionality; Aasta Mehta, MD, MPP, Philadelphia Department of Public Health; Dr. Carol Sakala, Director of Maternal Health, National Partnership for Women & Families; and Dena Stanley, CEO & Founder of TransYOUniting. 

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