Election 2012: Barack Obama Says 'Maternity Cover Not Optional'

The Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 15/05/2012 11:15 Updated: 15/05/2012 11:15

Obama Maternity

President Obama’s announcement that ‘health plans will be required to cover maternity care’ during the first National Women’s Health Week in America is a positive step for millions of US women.

Until Obama’s Affordable Care Act, signed into law two years ago, many women were also forced to pay extra for access to recommended preventive services such as mammograms, cervical cancer screenings and contraception.

Women's health has emerged as such a major theme of the 2012 elections that President Barack Obama has dedicated a week-long celebration to it. The president proclaimed on Monday that May 13 through May 19, 2012, will now be known as National Women's Health Week, reports The Huffington Post.

See Also

In a statement, President Obama said: I have made advancing gender equality in health care a top priority. Through the historic Affordable Care Act, we are reversing many of the worst abuses of the health insurance industry."

From 2014, insurers will no longer be allowed to charge women higher premiums simply because of their gender, he states. It will also be illegal for most insurance companies to deny coverage to women because they have a pre-existing condition, including cancer or pregnancy.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Manchester City players including their captain Vincent Kompany, front left, celebrate with the trophy during a bus parade the day after their team won the English Premier League, Manchester, England, Monday May 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • An Afghan boy rides his horse on a hill overlooking Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, May, 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid)

  • President Barack Obama delivers the commence address at Barnard College, Monday, May 14, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Marine officer Humberto Gimenez poses for a photo with a snake, called "Kuriju" in the Guarani indigenous language, wrapped over his shoulders before an Independence Day parade in Asuncion, Paraguay, Monday, May 14, 2012. Paraguay is marking 201 years of independence from Spain. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

  • A smoke column rises Monday, May 14, 2012 near Crown King, Ariz. Fire crews spent the weekend fighting several wildfires including the four and a half square mile blaze near Crown King. (AP Photo/Matt York)

  • Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch, right, and students of the Superior Art Institute perform "Jesus Against The Universe" as part of the 11th Havana Biennial contemporary art exhibition in Havana, Cuba, Mondday, May 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)

  • Madame Tussauds employee Lisa Burton puts the finishing touches to the new waxwork figure of Queen Elizabeth II, made to coincide with her Diamond Jubilee, during its unveiling at Madame Tussauds, in central London. Picture date: Monday May 14, 2012. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

  • Fashion Designer Zandra Rhodes in her London studio with a Royal Mail stamp featuring one of her famous dresses, part of the Best of British Fashion stamps issue by Royal Mail which go on sale tomorrow. Picture date: Thursday April 19, 2012. See PA story INDUSTRY Stamps. Photo credit should read: David Parry/PA Wire

  • A animatronic tyrannosaurus rex arrives at Bristol Zoo Gardens, one of 12 which are to be part of the zoo's new exhibition DinoZoo. Picture date: Monday May 14, 2012. The models arrived today in crates transported from Texas. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

  • A puppet of an Irish Garda during a Punch and Judy show in Dublin today. Picture date: Monday May 14, 2012. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

  • Volunteers from Volunteer Ireland take part in a photocall at to launch National Volunteer Week on Dublin's O'Connell Street. Picture date: Monday May 14, 2012. Volunteer Ireland also launched the results of a survey calling for greater emphasis on volunteering in national date collection. Photo credit should read: Niall carson/PA Wire

  • The Soyuz TMA-04M rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 carrying Expedition 31 Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka, NASA Flight Engineer Joseph Acaba and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin to the International Space Station. Photo by Bill Ingalls/Nasa via ABACAPRESS.COM # 320146_002