It's time to make our voices heard, once again.
The Obama administration is under pressure from the Catholic Bishops — again! -- to reverse its decision to uphold the HHS recommendation that birth control be (rightly) considered preventive health care, and covered with zero co-pay under health care reform. Let's "do a Komen thing" about this and put this issue to bed!
The Bishops want the administration to exempt religiously affiliated organizations, such as hospitals, universities, and charities from the requirement to cover contraceptives for their employees. They want to put the "right of conscience" of the employer over the "right of conscience" of millions of individual women they employ. They claim it is a matter of faith — but what kind of faith requires economic coercion? Make contraception free to all women and let women decide for themselves whether to use it or not — based on their faith, their health, and their own personal circumstances.
In 28 states, religiously affiliated organizations are already required to cover contraceptives and do so without controversy. The right of conscience belongs first with the individual woman, and then with the institution, and it is the responsibility of government to protect that right for all women, regardless of their ability to pay for contraceptives.
There are many other reasons to support contraceptive coverage with zero co-pay — equality, economic and educational opportunity, basic fairness, and self determination, public health benefits, and the health of a woman you might know.
Here is some information to help you figure out what points you want to make as you speak out. Seven Things You (and the Media) Need to Know about Birth Control
Can you please do at least one thing to make our voices heard on this important issue?
Write a letter to the editor:
- Here is a tool that makes it easy to send a letter to the editor of multiple papers at once: http://my.democrats.org/page/speakout/stand-up-for-womens-health?js=false (a sample letter to the editor and supporting information is provided here, as well).
- Sign the "We the People" petition at the Whitehouse.gov website. It takes a moment to create an account, but for every petition that gathers 25,000 signatures, the WhiteHouse has promised to respond. The other side has already reached the threshold. https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/stand-strong-support-new-no-cost-birth-control-policy/HM8jg7Y4
- And of course, there's Facebook, Twitter, blogging, friends and family.