When I became unexpectedly pregnant with my daughter Sinatra, I was uninsured; at the time pregnancy was a considered a “preexisting condition”, so I could not receive coverage. Fortunately, I had the financial resources to become a mother without insurance coverage. But I was shocked and humbled by the amount of women and families whom were uninsured in our country facing critical choices about their health—oftentimes choices between life and death for themselves or a loved one. Millions of women and families will no longer have to choose as they are secured stronger protections and more preventive services for women under the Affordable Care Act.
From the beginning of our effort to re-elect President Obama, we knew women were going to play a large part in deciding the election. We also knew that the No. 1 source women trusted most when deciding how to vote were women like them. And we knew that the more they learned about how they benefited from the Affordable Care Act, the more they shared this with their friends—garnering more votes for the President by women.
So it was no surprise when women had the choice between President Obama, who believes women should be able to make our own decisions about our health care, and someone whose party platform included supporting a constitutional amendment to ban abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, the choice was easy. When women had the choice between President Obama, who is working to make sure women can afford health care for ourselves and our families, and someone who had promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act on day one—we made our voice and our vote loud and clear, re-electing President Obama by a decisive margin.
And while we are made stronger knowing that President Obama will continue to fight for us during his second term, implementing health care for an additional 30 million Americans, and recently signing the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, there is still so much more work to do, and we can’t stop now.
Because women are the majority in this country, the majority of the economy, and the majority of the electorate, we decide elections and will continue to do so. But that is not the only time we should make our voices heard. This Women’s History Month, we must recommit ourselves to the struggle for true equality and opportunity by getting involved and staying involved.