Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

Womens' Health Care Issues

Adpoted by the 103rd Annual Convention of
the Central Conference of American Rabbis
San Antonio, Texas, April, 1992

WHEREAS, the Central Conference of American Rabbis has consistently and frequently committed itself to full and equal rights for women in all aspects of our society, and

WHEREAS, it has become increasingly clear that women too frequently have been denied adequate and equal health care and medical attention, as illustrated by the following examples:

1). the overwhelming predominance of medical research focuses on male subjects, even in such critical areas such as cardiac, cardiovascular and oncologic disease;

2. the recent significant concerns exemplified by disputes as to the safety of silicon breast implants and facial silicone injections further imply that adverse medical reactions affecting women do not receive proper serious attention,

3. and that, in the case of HIV infection, the Centers for Disease Control of the United States Department of Health and Human Services have not included several prominent gynecological manifestations of HIV in the official definition of AIDS, thereby disenfranchising a disproportionately large number of women from AIDS resources and treatment options.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Central Conference of American Rabbis strongly urges that health care and medical institutions and policy-making bodies of the United States turn their immediate attention to equal concern for the health of women.
        
In particular, the Conference points to the need to broaden and increase medical research projects and protocols to include women equally and the need to focus on diseases and health issues of particular import to women.
        
Furthermore, the Conference strongly encourages the Food and Drug Administration and other appropriate regulatory agencies to take a more serious approach when reviewing products, procedures and treatment, that specifically affect women.
        
In addition, the Conference implores the Centers for Disease Control to expand its definition of AIDS to include all those clinical manifestations of HIV disease which are uniquely gynecological in nature.
        
Finally, we urge swift creation of universal health care for all people which will also provide the following essential health rights for women:

1. provision of good pre- natal care for the disenfranchised ( poor, undocumented women),

2. insistence that all insurance companies acknowledge the need for preventive health care such as pap smears and mammograms and give coverage,

3. provision and funding of more research on methods of birth control,

4. protection of women's reproductive rights so that sterilization for any length of time must be the decision of the woman alone, and allowing no person or agency to abuse that right,

5. educating women about their own bodies thus enabling them to take control and make intelligent decisions,

6. educating the health care system about the real problems women face and firmly discouraging condescending and patronizing responses which, in too many instances, discount the very real complaints of women.