Here’s some news we should be getting used to — unfortunately — as Nevadans: We suck. Yet again we find ourselves at or near the bottom of an important life-index list. This time it comes from the Health Care Report Card by the National Women’s Law Center, which analyzed the health care conditions for women by state. Nevada ranks 37th in the country. Well, at least we’re not dead last (like we are in high school dropout rate). That’s something, right?
No. This is terrible news for Nevada’s women. No, actually it’s terrible news for Nevada’s families, employers and community as a whole! As the state hardest hit by the bad economy, this is just more bad news for many who are already up to their eyeballs in bad news.
And it’s not about to get any better any time soon. With the worst state deficit in the nation (per capita), early word is to expect more than 10% cuts to services and cuts to education when the Legislature convenes in a couple months. Meanwhile, national organizations like Planned Parenthood, which provide quality, low- or no-cost medical care (many turn to PP for more than just reproductive care), are under fire as the new Congress sets to convene in the new year. Indiana Rep. Mike Pence has said he is trying to get all federal funding of the organization cut.
No wonder Nevada has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country!
The National Women’s Law Center report found that Nevada’s percent of uninsured women went up to 22.7 %, an increase of more than 2 percent from 2007 levels. It also found that 12 % of Nevada’s women live in counties not served by an abortion provider, up from 10% in 2007.
As we prepare for the state Legislature to begin in the new year, we must get ready to do all we can to fight for Nevada’s women and families. Head to Carson City and lobby your representatives. Volunteer time with organizations that do this work. Donate money, if you can’t spare time. Or do both! And if you’re looking for a great organization who has been doing this in Nevada for a long time, look no further than The Nevada Women’s Lobby. (Full disclosure: I’m on the NWL advisory committee.)
We can’t afford to lose anymore!