This week, Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) introduced the Health Equity and Access Under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act, legislation that would increase immigrants’ eligibility for health insurance coverage and access to health care, including reproductive health services.
In response to the proposed legislation, Reproductive Health Advocacy Fellow Dr. Diane Horvath-Cosper at Physicians for Reproductive Health issued the following statement:
“Immigrant communities already experience heath care disparities, which only worsen when people aren’t able to get necessary, preventive health care.”
“As medical professionals, we applaud Congresswoman Lujan Grisham for her leadership in introducing a bill that seeks to eliminate barriers that prevent immigrant women and families from accessing vital health services. Without health care coverage, high costs may force immigrant women to forgo sexual and reproductive health care, including prenatal visits, contraceptives, sexually transmitted infection screenings, breast-feeding support, and cancer screening. Immigrant communities already experience heath care disparities, which only worsen when people aren’t able to get necessary, preventive health care. At a time when reproductive health care is being relentlessly attacked, we support proactive legislation like the HEAL Act to make sure that immigrant communities can get the health care they need. We need more policies like this that address gaps in coverage, instead of policies that would make those gaps even wider.”