Women's Health Across the Lifespan

Sister and baby  woman with basketball  bride and mom  senior

Women's health issues continue to capture the spotlight in state legislatures, as the importance of health-related topics have grown along with demands on state budgets. Policymakers are often forced to view women's health by issue area such as breast cancer, chronic disease or pregnancy. A better way to understand women's health involves looking at a woman's life comprehensively.

Women's health begins at birth. In early childhood, health depends on proper nutrition and physical activity, and immunizations. As girls move into the teen and early adult years, awareness, prevention and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI) and tobacco use become a concern for policymakers. Policymakers also address a variety of reproductive issues. Each year legislators made decisions about family planning, insurance mandates for contraceptives, infertility treatments, prenatal/postnatal services, breastfeeding, newborn screening and preventative screenings for women. As women grow older their health needs change. Management of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases becomes vital, as does screening for and knowledge about lung cancer, breast cancerovarian cancer, diabetes and a variety of other conditions. Mental health services throughout a woman's lifespan greatly affect her overall health as well.

NCSL Publications on Women's Health 

Women's Health News and Updates

NCSL Women's Health Fall Forum Preconferences

Fall Forum 2013 Preconference – Women’s Health: Policy Strategies and Innovations for Wellness

Fall Forum 2012 Preconference – Improving Women’s Health: Research, Innovation, and Leadership

Fall Forum 2011 Preconference – Improving Women’s Health: Opportunities and Challenges of Health Reform

Fall Forum 2010 Preconference – Policy Options to Improve the Health of Women of All Ages

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