One of the most valuable resources for Women’s Bioethics is “Making the Grade on Women’s Health,” a national and state by state report on the current state of women’s health and health policies. The recently published 2007 edition, the fourth in the series, is a project of the National Women’s Law Center and the Oregon Health and Science University. My posts this week will take up some of the Report specifics, but today I want to emphasize a larger issue.
Biomedical research into biological explanations for health disparities is only part of the puzzle. Less attention and almost no federal funding is devoted to understanding how inequities in health outcomes for women are linked to the organization and distribution of health care. As Virginia Woolf suggested in Three Guineas, women must depend on non-governmental and private funding to move these and other “orphan” projects that empower women forward. Kudos to the NWLC and others who make it possible to demonstrate that claims about women’s inequalities are neither whining nor paranoid, but are rather claims of justice.