Women's Suffrage Took 100 Years to Pass. What About Our Legislation?

Published in Women's Health on May 30, 2019

June 4, 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being passed by Congress. Suffragettes changed the course of history because they fought for the right to vote. This battle was not won overnight; it took over 100 years of persistence to affect change. Suffragettes were told that the battle was not worth the fight or that it was too radical of a change. Most of us cannot imagine a world without being able to perform this simple civic duty.

The Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act was introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate on February 26, 2019. This legislation is us fighting for equality; women should have all options available to them after a mastectomy, whether it be reconstruction, off the shelf prosthesis, custom prosthesis or going flat. Suffrage took 100 years of lobbying, marching and protesting before efforts were finally successful. What if our legislation could pass not in 100 years, but in one? What would it take?

For most people outside of our industry, they simply don’t understand that this is even an issue. When I told my husband about the lobbying efforts for this issue in Washington, D.C., he couldn’t understand why there would be any inequality. Why would Medicare simply not provide reimbursement for a custom breast prosthesis, when they provide reimbursement for custom prosthesis for any other body part? Why is this even a fight?

We need the same persistence to educate our friends, family, neighbors, customers, and community members of this issue. They simply do not know what they do not know. Unless they are personally affected, most people assume that an injustice like this doesn’t exist.

Our ask right now as we move into June is to not only like our Facebook page, Let Her Decide, but also invite your friends to like the page. Instructions can be found here.

Nikki Jensen and Tom Powers will be back in Washington, D.C. in June. We need you to make some noise! Contact your legislators and ask them to sign-on to the Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act. We have made this very easy for you.

  • Step 1: Email your legislators by going to letherdecide.org
  • Step 2: Call your legislators by calling the Capitol Hill Switchboard at 202-224-3121. An operator will connect you with the office. Or you can look up their direct number here.
  • Step 3: Use this script to help guide your conversation.

One voice is a whisper, but many voices is a roar! Remember, it will take persistence and repetition through grassroots advocacy to get legislation passed.


This month, the Let Her Decide campaign is focused on growing our audience on Facebook. The bigger the audience, the more reach we have and the more impactful our message will be. In two days alone, we were able to gain over 500 likes.

How did we do it? What’s our secret sauce? It’s all about the people you already know and your own social network! Your social network already knows what you do for a living, so why not ask them to support your cause?

To increase our following, we challenged VGM staff to like the Let Her Decide page and then invite all of their friends to like the page. We set a goal with a reward if we achieve it. We challenge you, our Essentially Women members to do the same! Like our page and invite your friends, invite your staff to like the page, and have your staff invite their friends. We need a strong, collective message to Congress that this legislation matters.

Why does the power of your social network matter? How can this help your business?

  1. One voice is a whisper, many voices is a roar. The more voices we have supporting the legislation, the more firepower we have when we meet with legislators to ask them to sign-on to the legislation. Imagine if you invited 50 of your friends to like the page and 25 actually followed through. Now, imagine if all our EW members did this as well. We would have nearly 15,000 likes for #LetHerDecide.
  2. Do you have a Facebook page? Do you manage it? How big is your following? Do the same thing on your business page! This is a free way to increase your page likes. 
  3. The bigger the following, the more legitimate your cause looks and becomes. Do you judge a Facebook event, page, or company by the amount of likes they have? Congressional staffers occasionally will research issues to determine if it has broad support, including through social media. Customers may also judge your business on your customer reviews and Facebook following.
  4. Market the industry. We are an industry that you only find out about if you need us. Spread the word that we are here and matter.
  5. Word of mouth and reviews matter. Inviting your friends is an easy way to help spread through word of mouth. If you have friends who like a page and you go to that page, you see that your friend likes it, so innately, it is like a referral. You trust your friend so you can trust this business, organization or cause.

How to invite your friends

On the computer:

Go to the page, scroll until you see “Community” on the right side, and click the “Invite Friends” button. You can choose which friends to invite, or you can invite all. You can also include a personal message with the invite. Let your friends know why this issue is important to you and why having choices is important.



On your phone:

MobileGo to the page, scroll to the right to access the “Community” tab and click it. You will see the Total likes and the Total Follows, and a way to invite your friends to like the page. Select each one of your friends that you want to invite.

Your social circle of acquaintances, friends, and family likely have a nationwide reach, especially in combination with others. We are all influencers. Every day that we step into our store, smile at a passerby or even post on social media… There is always someone on the receiving end. Time is limited, and we never know how much time we have left to make an impact on another. For this reason, it’s very important that we make the most what we’re given.  Our field understands this better than most. Consequently, we are asking you to be vulnerable, stand up for what you believe in and allow your influence to have a ripple effect on those around you!

Let’s make an impact!


  1. essentially women
  2. let her decide
  3. women's health

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