World Health Day: Universal Health Coverage
This year’s World Health Day theme is fierce and HowToUse is loving it. “Universal health coverage,” the official slogan radically declares, “everyone, everywhere.”
We salute the World Health Organization for amplifying an issue that needs to be discussed, now more than ever. The global health care economy may be booming, but it’s leaving over half the world’s population without access to essential health services.
#HealthForAll. Now that’s a hashtag we can get behind.
No matter how much our team supports a campaign calling for increased access to health services, we can’t help but offer our teeniest, tiniest, most humble of suggestions to the WHO to improve this year’s World Health Day theme. What if instead of “#HealthForAll, we went with the oh-so pithy:
I think that still fits in a tweet, right?
Abortion is part of women’s health care
Here’s the point we find ourselves needing to reiterate again and again and again: abortion services are a normal part of comprehensive women’s health care. Prolife advocates have done their damnedest to somehow twist this into a controversial statement, but the fact remains: there is no #HealthForAll without safe abortion options for all.
But don’t just take our word for it. Global legislators and health experts have been saying this for years. Take, for example, The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was brought into force by the United Nations in 1976 and is currently ratified by 166 State parties. The UN treaty guarantees all women the right to “the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.”
In a 2000 clarification of what a woman’s right to health specifically encompasses, the Committee overseeing the treaty made explicit that the right to health included, “the right to control one’s health and body, including sexual and reproductive freedom, and the right to be free from interference.”
Can that become a hashtag?
The UN is in good company on the topic. In a 2017 study on global access to abortion, the World Health Organization called for increased access to both contraceptives and safe abortion options for women around the world. The study’s lead author shared in no uncertain terms, “When women and girls cannot access effective contraception and safe abortion services, there are serious consequences for their own health and that of their families. This should not happen.”
So today, on the 2018 World Health Day, will HowToUse be joining the World Health Organization to celebrate #HealthForAll?
But will we also be reminding everyone out there that #HealthForAllIncludesChoiceForWomen?