Perryman highlighted the harms of misinformation and the link between the attack on evidence-based health care and democracy, joining experts in the field of women’s and gender-related health care for a multi-day convening on equity, access, and best practices for all provisions of patient care

San Diego, CA — On Monday, October 30, Democracy Forward President & CEO Skye Perryman delivered the keynote address at the 26th Annual National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health Women’s Healthcare Conference — the premier continuing education, networking, clinical, and business meeting for women’s health nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses specializing in women’s and gender-related health care. The Conference, which convenes more than 700 practitioners, provides opportunities throughout the two-day program to share best practices, enhance clinical expertise, and engage with experts in the field. 

Perryman’s address, The Imperative of Now: Access, Equity, and Transformation, was a call to action for addressing threats to women’s health and democracy. In it, Perryman discussed the rising tide of misinformation and attacks on science, evidence, and data, noting: “We know that misinformation is a common tool of anti-democracy extremists. And so make no mistake that the resistance to your expertise from those who would promote misinformation is not just resistance to science but a resistance to something more than that. Attacks on science and evidence are attacks on democracy.”

Perryman also addressed the challenges posed by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health and the decades-long campaign special interests engaged in to undermine women’s health. The challenges that American democracy faces “can be found perhaps in no more pressing of an example than with respect to the rights of women and the advancement of people with historically and presently marginalized identities,” Perryman said. 

She added, “State governments are substituting their views for the views of women and patients in need of care — denying essential health care and denying the very dignity that each individual person should have to determine the course for their own health and life. This also includes efforts to engage in misinformation and to stoke fear and culture wars to prevent people from getting the care they need.” 

In the face of such threats to our democratic rights, Perryman said: “There is an imperative in this moment. An imperative to act now. Remember, democracy is not a lofty ideal, it is a course of action. And we need you not just in your exam rooms but in our work for a broader, more inclusive, bold democracy that works for all people.” The audience responded with a standing ovation at the end of the remarks. 

Later in the conference, Perryman presented in a breakout session entitled “The Fight For Access a Year After Dobbs: A Legal and Policy Overview and Community Call to Action,” where she outlined legal, policy, and public education strategies possible in this moment to enhance access to care. 

In her role at Democracy Forward, Perryman provides strategic guidance across a range of issues including the organization’s work to protect access to medication abortion; fight medical misinformation; safeguard the Affordable Care Act; and more. Perryman previously served as the Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), where she oversaw its broad portfolio of legal, policy, and public affairs work.