News & Events

Check Out HealthyWomen's New Online 'HealthyWomen Community'

Check out the new HealthyWomen Community site (an initiative of NCWO affiliate, HealthyWomen) where the wisdom of everyday women meets the knowledge of health experts. Join now, and get your favorite screen name (before someone else gets it)!  You can also join one or many groups of particular interest to you.

NCWO Hosts National Women's Health Week Panel; Focuses on Blaming the Victim

In recognition of National Women's Health Week, May 13 -19. NCWO hosted a panel discussio, Blaming the Victim: A Discussion about Diseases and Conditions Women Suffer From and Get Blamed For. People who suffer from HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), Diabetes/Obesity and Lung Cancer have something in common in addition to living with the particular disease or condition and its physical consequences: They also face the consequences of blame and shame. Click here to view an article providing details.

NCWO, Affiliates Support Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and 55 cosponsors on May 8 introduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). This legislation would require employers to provide reasonable job modifications that would allow pregnant women to continue working when the modifications can be made without undue hardship. NCWO (and many of its affiliates) support the legislation.

NCWO, Affiliates Celebrate HHS Decision Supporting Contraceptive Coverage Without Co-pays and Leaving Religious Employer Exemption in Place:  Attack Follows

The Jan. 20 decision made the Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines on contraceptive coverage final. Then the attack began in full force to overturn this important decision. See our story on this in our "Advocacy" section, which includes links to a new group formed to take action, The Coalition to Protect Women's Health Care, as well as links to background information. View blog post by Women's Health Task Force chair.

USPSTF Issues New Guidelines for Cervical Cancer Screening

On March 14, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued new cervical cancer screening guidelines granting an "A" recommendation for HPV co-testing every 5 years for women ages 30 to 65. NCWO has been an advocate for this change for many years. The decision reverses its previous "I" -- insufficient evidence - statement. (Grade A is defined as follows: The USPSTF recommends the service. There is high certainty that the net benefit is substantial.) Click here for more information.

The implications for this are huge, as the Secretary of HHS has the authority to extend Medicare coverage to HPV co-testing. In addition, the ACA provides an incentive for state Medicaid programs to cover USPSTF A or B recommended services such as HPV co-testing without cost sharing.

HPV Infection Lasts Longer in Young Black Women: Study Shows

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection tends to last longer in college-aged black women than whites, possibly setting them up for a higher risk of cervical cancer, according to a new study. This persistence could explain higher rates of cervical cancer than their white counterparts.

HPV, which is a sexually transmitted infection, can cause genital warts and is responsible
HPV vaccinationsthat cause most cervical cancers. offer protection from the four types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. These shots are currently recommended for 11- and 12-year-old girls and for females aged 13 to 26 who did not get any or all of the HPV shots when they were younger.

"African American women may benefit even more from the HPV shots," said study author Kim Creek, vice-chair and professor of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences at South Carolina College of Pharmacy, in Charleston. View complete NIH Medline Plus article here.

Affordable Care Act: Women Can Play Critical Role in Saving, Maintaining It

'Key Strategic Findings from Years of Polling on Healthcare' was the title of long-time progressive pollster John Marttila's presentation in the spring of 2011 at a briefing sponsored by the National Council of Women's Organizations and the Jacobs' Institute of Women's Health.

More than 50 women at the event in Washington, DC.heard Marttila share his polling results and provide strategic suggestions - based on his findings - underscoring the critical role women can play in saving the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and in maintaining progressive legislative gains.

Mattila's core message was that "while Americans don't know much about details about health policy, they feel very strongly about the care that they and their family receive. And they bring to this consideration strongly held core beliefs and values...."

His primary recommendation, based on this, was that "public strategies promoting health care reform and ACA must be built on a platform of American values on health care." He believes that proponents have not used these "values assets" to their maximum effect, but he also believes that it's not too late...Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation.

NCWO Endorses HEART for Women Act (S. 438/H.R. 3526)

The Act will improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and stroke -- the leading killer of American women.  Click here to see the letter endorsing the Act, which has already passed twice in the U.S. House of Representatives with bi-partisan support.

Making the Grade on Women's Health: View National Women's Law Center Webinar Recording and Slides

The webinar was the fifth in a series assessing the overall health of women at the national and state levels. The Report Card is designed to promite the health and well-being of women in the United States by providing a comprehensive assessment of women's health, both nationally and state-by-state. You can access the webinar and slides here. The report gives the U.S. an overall rating of "unsatisfactory" and failing grades on many specific public health goals, such as improving cervical cancer screenings.

NCWO Preterm Birth Hill Briefing Provides Lots of Valuable Information

The numbers are staggering, but most people have no idea that:

o Premature birth is the #1 killer of newborns and a significant contributor to long term disabilities for those babies who survive.
o One in eight births in this country are preterm. These babies account for nearly half the total annual hospital costs for newborn care despite representing only 12 percent of the total births.
o The US scored a "D" from the March Of Dimes for its rates of premature births.

Most people also don't know that "preterm birth" is any birth that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy. A normal pregnancy should last about 40 weeks.

Also, did you know that "A baby's brain at 35 weeks weighs only two-thirds of what it will weigh at 40 weeks?

The Nov. 30 briefing, featured a panel of experts from the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; the March of Dimes; and a preterm labor bedrest graduate and founder of the consumer education and support website,

The March of Dimes' website section on the issue notes:

· Preterm labor and delivery can happen to any pregnant woman.
· Women can take steps to reduce the risk of preterm labor.
· Know the signs of preterm labor and what to do about them.

Excellent sites for more information include:

o The March of Dimes
o Keep ‘Em Cookin

Excellent Websites to Help Navigate the New Health Law

Now that we have entered the implementation phase of the new law, there are a number of exellent sites to help make sure we know what we are entitled to and how to access what we are entitled to. Check out the lead article in the "Advocacy" section of this website.

Advancing Women's Health: Check out the Site

Advancing Women's Health is an interactive digital library for sex and gender-specific women's health education resources. It's a project of the Women's Health Working Group, which two NCWO affiliates are part of, the American Medical Women's Association and the American College of Women's Health Physicians.

Women:  Stay Healthy at Any Age

The Agencey for Health Research & Quality (HHS) has an updated brochure, Women: Stay Healthy at Any Age, which is available on line to download and print. It provides information on screening tests, whether you need medicine to prevent disease and simple steps to take for good health. It's easy to download, copy and distribute.

Many NCWO Affiliates Have Health Programs

Many NCWO affiliates have programs that focus on women’s health. The goal of this website is to provide easy access to those that feature information on issues related to women’s preventive health. While we continue to construct our website, we invite you to explore the vast amount of information our affiliates provide related to women’s health.