Chapters #1 – 100 “In the beginning…”
In case you haven’t been keeping track, the contraception and “pain capable” issues are just the tail end in a long line of federal assaults on the rights and interests of women.
Catch up here: tinyurl.com/100-ways-to-hurt-women
Battle #1 – Rolling back of ACA contraceptive coverage
Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] ask Rep. [___] to take any and all actions to ensure all women have affordable access to healthcare, including no-copay contraception.
Rep. Julia Brownley: (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Other Rep Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com
Since 2011 the ACA has required that female contraception must be covered by insurers without a co-pay. This “contraceptive mandate” has extended affordable birth control to millions of Americans: today 55 million Americans benefit from coverage of preventive services, including birth control, saving Americans billions of dollars per year. Although it has broad bi-partisan support amongst the public, the existing mandate allowed religious organizations and “closely held” companies exemptions.
Now any company run by people concerned that someone might be having more fun than they are can deny an integral part of preventive care and a medical necessity for women who may be using birth control pills to control a number of medical conditions, including: polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, amenorrhea, cramps, menstrual migraines, acne or heavy menstrual bleeding. Or just not wanting to get pregnant. In a joint statement, over 560,000 doctors and medical students said “Access to no-copay contraception leads to healthier women and families. Any move to decrease access to these vital services would have damaging effects on public health.”
Here are some other related bills to ask your Rep. to support too.
H.R.2567 – “Access to Birth Control Act”
This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to require pharmacies to make contraceptives available to customers without any sort of hassle, only allowing the pharmacist to refuse to provide them if a required prescription is not presented, the customer can’t pay, or in the pharmacist’s clinical judgment, the medication would be dangerous for a particular patient. (Check here to see if your Rep. has co-sponsored it yet. If not, call.)
H. R. 3443 – “Birth Control Privacy Act”.
This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to prohibit wellness programs, including those offered by health insurance issuers or in connection with a group health plan, from disclosing personally identifiable information related to individuals’ use or non-use of contraceptives. (Check here to see if your Rep. has co-sponsored it yet. If not, call.)
Battle #2: S.1922 “Pain Capable” Unborn Child Protection Act
S.1922 is the Senate version of H.R. 36, which passed mostly on party lines, 237-189. This bill would be better titled “Let the Government Intrude on Private and Painful Decisions Made Between Doctors, Women and their families.” 60% of American voters support access to safe and legal abortion for women like Julie. While a majority of abortions in the U.S. occur in the first trimester, it is important that a woman, her family, and her doctor have every medical option available.
Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] to urge Rep. [___] to vote NO on S. 1922, which would make it a crime to perform or attempt to perform an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
More script if you want it: Only 1.3% of US abortions occur after the 20th week and usually because of severe fetal anomalies or maternal health risks. This bill risks the lives of women and interferes with their Constitutionally guaranteed reproductive rights.
Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Other Senator Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com
Battle #3: The US Department of Health & Human Services has snuck in anti-abortion ideology. WRITE them! Deadline OCT. 27th!
Hmmmm… what do we have here?
(Vox)”Language about human life starting with conception (the fertilization of an egg) is usually reserved for religious groups and anti-abortion activists, not government documents that will guide federal policy, according to several women’s health and policy experts Vox contacted. The notion that life starts at conception runs counter to federal law — as well as the medical community’s consensus — that recognizes pregnancy as beginning with the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, they said.”
And what are they missing…?
No mention of the importance of “birth control” but “faith” is mentioned 46 times!
(Vox)”When it’s finalized, the document would serve as a road map for HHS agencies — which include the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — but does not have the force of law. HHS could, however, permit nonprofits and providers that receive federal funding to deliver only services they are comfortable with providing, such as abstinence-only education or health care for individuals in heterosexual marriages. Providers could also refrain from giving condoms to people who want them, or referrals to organizations that provide abortions to women in need.”
Who’s behind this draft plan that’s apparently wasting our tax dollars by not mentioning birth control and its health benefits for women?
The list of former anti-choice activists now in HHS include:
- Matthew Bowman, a lawyer at the Department of Health and Human Services, is reportedly one of the architects behind the new birth control rules and previously worked for Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal advocacy (and anti-choice) group.
- Another top Trump adviser on health care is Katy Talento, an anti-abortionist who has claimed that side effects of hormonal birth include cancer and miscarriages.
- Trump put Teresa Manning, an anti-abortion lawyer who once said giving people easy access to the morning-after pill was “medically irresponsible” and “anti-family,” in charge of Title X, HHS’s federal family planning program.
- Charmaine Yoest, who is now assistant secretary at HHS, was the president and CEO of the anti-abortion group Americans United for Life.
- Valerie Huber, the former president of an abstinence-only association, is the chief of staff to the assistant secretary for health at HHS.
Write! Write! Write!
They “look forward to receiving your comments. Comments may be provided for each goal and objective. Please submit your comments by October 27, 2017, through one of the following methods: