07/03/2012 02:32 pm ET Updated Sep 02, 2012

Women and Girls Win Big With Healthcare Ruling

Thanks to last week's Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, more women than ever before have increased access to healthcare: of the 50 million uninsured Americans, 19 million are women. In just 30 days, women will no longer have to cough up co-pays for preventive care including pap tests and mammograms. What's more, there's hope for low-income families now that 10.3 million of the nation's poor are eligible for healthcare through Medicaid. The women's community has much to celebrate.

We're looking toward the future, too. Starting in 2014, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to victims of domestic violence for "pre-existing conditions." In San Francisco, we have adopted a comprehensive strategy to protect victims of domestic violence that spans multiple city departments and a diversity of community-based organizations. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, these protections have been expanded to better meet the needs of uninsured victims of violence.

The Act is a giant step in the right direction for healthcare access for women and families. And it allows us at the local level to focus our attention on pressing needs here at home. In our report released this month, "An Update on Girls in San Francisco: A Decade of Success and Challenges," we highlight the healthcare needs of our girls who experience bullying, sexual assault, depression, and suicidal thoughts. The Act ensures access to life-saving interventions for our daughters, sisters, mothers, grandmothers and the larger community.

We recognize President Barack Obama's courage in championing the Affordable Health Care Act. We also recognize the tireless efforts of Leader Nancy Pelosi to make federal healthcare reform a reality. In 2007, we presented Leader Pelosi with our first Women's Human Rights Award created to recognize work in keeping with the landmark San Francisco CEDAW Ordinance, the first local law in the world to reflect the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Thanks to Leader Pelosi's efforts, women will no longer be charged higher premiums than men by 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Women and their families can now sleep better knowing that the Affordable Care Act continues to be the law of the land.