✓ Progress: As of 2011, health insurance companies must cover birth control as preventive care with no co-pays. Church-affiliated employers protested, saying the new law violates their freedom of religion. In January, President Obama upheld the ruling. Birth control is healthcare, no ifs, ands, or Bibles about it.
✓ Setback: In 2005, a Medicaid reform bill called the Deficit Reduction Act prevented colleges and healthcare providers from participating in drug discount programs and raised the cost of birth control. States continue to pass—or try to pass—emotionally manipulative, downright offensive laws to prevent women from getting an abortion. In Texas, for example, women are urged to view sonograms and listen to descriptions of embryo development before terminating their pregnancies. Sandra Fluke & The Power Of Shame
✓ Progress: In the 2008 presidential election, 66% of women made it to the polls, compared to 62% of men. Campaigns like The 2012 Project provide support to female candidates and educate future political leaders.
✓ Setback: Alas, only 52% of women ages 18-24 voted in the 2008 election. The United States, the most powerful country in the world, is ranked #70 in terms of women's political representation. In 2010, the number of women in state legislatures declined by nearly 80 seats, and women currently hold only 90 (17%) of the 535 seats in the 112th U.S. Congress. The bottom line: Women aren't involved enough in the law-making process—and some of these laws affect our bodies alone.
MARRIAGE & FAMILY
✓ Progress: Fewer Americans are married now than at any point in in the last 50 years, and 45% of these singletons are women. But don't be disheartened. Lower marriage rates mean lower divorce rates. In many cases, women are waiting until they've completed college and started a career before settling down. Since 2007, the average age of first marriage for women has been 26. Women are also waiting longer to have babies—in 2008, more than one-third of first-time moms were over 30. 7 Surprising Facts About The New American Family