The kudos about the 50th anniversary of the FDA's approval of the birth control pill are well deserved. Timely access to contraceptive services has vastly improved maternal and child health, and has been the driving force in reducing rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion in this country. Women's ability to control our fertility has helped us achieve personal, educational and professional goals and made us a critical component of the nation's success.
My mother has worked full-time in New York for most of her life. New data from the Center for American Progress shows that because of the wage gap between men and women, my mom lost out on $312,000 over her working life.
My two sisters and I are a team. For several years, as we each juggled our own work and family responsibilities, we willingly took on the role of "advocate" and "coordinator" of health care across settings (home, hospital, nursing home) for my father, who died last year at the age of 94. It wasn't easy. At times it sapped our energy and our spirits. But we took on the role out of love and a deep respect for our father.