How These Elected Congresswomen Plan to Improve Americans’ Health

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Congresswoman fighting for rights to healthcare

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

You’ve heard it ’round your office cubicles. You’ve heard it circulating on Facebook. And maybe, just maybe, you’ve heard it at Planned Parenthood. There’s no need to beat around the bush. We’re flat out posing the salient question inundating the minds of women who fought for this landmark decision in the ’70s and young women today who may never merit from those that fought the good fight for a woman’s constitutional right of privacy to their bodies: But seriously, will the Supreme Court overturn Roe V. Wade?

The war waged on our bodies by America’s incumbent president — whose strife with this decades-old establishment and his conservative Supreme Court picks — could possibly overrule a woman’s constitutional right to access abortion. But besides for reproductive care, we also have to think about other mind and body issues that plague Americans who can’t afford treatment without subsidization. These draconian social laws pertain to healthcare coverage, rising opioid addictions, therapy for mental illnesses, and much more. Lucky for us, there’s a silver lining in all of this madness.

Last week, the number of women elected to Congress hit an all-time record high. With at least 92 winning in the House and 10 winning in the Senate, there are now a total of 112 women serving in Congress — the most we’ve had in history. Below, you will find all the newly elected women in Congress who are representing our mind and body needs in the best way possible.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Healthcare:

At 29-years-old, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with Abby Finkenauer of Iowa, became the youngest women to ever serve in US Congress. As New York’s house of representative-elect for the 14th Congressional District, the Boston University graduate told The New York Times earlier this week that she still can’t afford an apartment in D.C. She also took to Twitter to candidly tell her followers about her finances and access to health insurance. As someone who’s been in the same shoes as 44 million uninsured Americans, there’s no better politician to advocate for better healthcare legislation.

“We write unlimited blank checks for war, we just wrote a $2 trillion check for that tax cut, the GOP tax cut, and nobody asked those folks how are they going to pay for it. So, my question is why is it that our pockets are only empty when it comes to education and healthcare for our kids. “At the end of the day, we see this is not a pipe dream. Every other developed nation in the world does this, why can’t America?” she asked. “When it comes to tax cuts for bills and unlimited war, we seem to invent that money very easily,” she told CNN’s Chris Cuomo in August.

Stacey Abrams on Mental Health Treatment:

Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democratic Party and gubernatorial candidate, is still technically in the running against Brian Kemp, her Republican adversary. Until there is a confirmed recount, we’re going to highlight what she hopes to accomplish in the mental health sector when elected. Abrams routinely speaks about growing up as one of six children to working-class parents, with a brother who struggles tremendously from a mental health illness. Her number one priority is to expand mental health and substance abuse treatment for all so that it’s no longer “underfunded and overlooked,” as she says. On her website, she states that as governor she will: “Work with the mental health community to increase understanding and reduce stigma regarding mental health disabilities. We will make sure Georgians know that there is no shame in mental illness.” With Abrams’s help, maybe Georgia won’t rank as the eighth worst state for access to mental care in America.

Janet Mills on Combating the Opioid Crisis:

If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard by now, America is going through a major opioid crisis. We’re talking 72,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017 alone. Yep. So what does Janet Mills, the 70-year-old governor-elect of Maine, propose to tackle this obscene “public health crisis,” as she calls it? Well for starters, she notes that in 2015, 25,000 Maine residents could not get treatment because they couldn’t afford insurance. To sum up her ten-point plan of action, she hopes to increase accessibility of recovery coaches, provide Narcan and therapy to anyone who needs it, expand the number of detox slots, and more. What we are doing now is not winning this war. We must do more than “just say no” education. The solution requires compassion, community, a change in culture, and our full commitment as a state.

“One more overdose is one too many. One more family torn asunder is one too many. One more orphaned child is one too many. Let’s make 2018 a new beginning,” Mill says on her website.

Deb Haaland on Abortion Access:

Deb Haaland is one of the first Native American congressmen, alongside Kansas’ Sharice Davids. According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, the New Mexico congresswoman is a true leader and advocate for women’s reproductive care. “I’m so honored to have the backing of NARAL in my campaign for Congress,” said Deb Haaland. “If elected, I will be on the front lines in the fight for reproductive freedom, as I have been for decades. I’m running so that I can be a voice for women in New Mexico and in District 1 who feel like they have been sidelined – when it comes to reproductive freedom and access to contraception, the attack on women needs fierce, organized opposition. I will be there and I’m ready to take on the Administration and any judicial nominee who would threaten our access to abortion,” Haaland says.

In January she tweeted the following:

Whether you’re a strict advocate of abortion or religiously opposed to the concept, one thing we should all be able to agree on is a woman’s right for control over her own body and health decisions. Hopefully, these newly-elected congresswomen can be the hope we need in these tumultuous times.

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