Raising Women’s Voices

Midwives and health reform

Posted in Grassroots, Health Reform Policy Proposals, Maternity Care by raisingwomensvoices on July 8, 2009

An interesting article from Feministing about midwives and health reform. Check it out!

Health reform stuff as of today (including important amendment language!!)

Posted in DC Reform, Grassroots by raisingwomensvoices on July 8, 2009

The big news is this: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee members have released their amendments for the bill. These amendments include a series of refusal clauses, unborn child protections, and changes from just rape to “forcible rape”. See the post from earlier today here.

In other news, President Barack Obama attempts to rephrase comments made by his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, about the White House’s willingness to go along with a trigger option (a public plan “triggered” by worsening economic situations and further worsening of availability/affordability of private insurance). The President insists that he still strongly supports a public option and that Emanuel’s comment was misconstrued.

In other news, one of the leaders of the Senate, Harry Reid (D-NV) has ordered Senator Max Baucus (D-MT, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee) to stop the watering down of the SFC health care reform proposal. Reid asserted that it is less important to get some Republican votes and more important to get more Democratic votes that will come along with a strong public option and not taxing benefits.

Mike Enzi and Chris Dodd - what troopers. Look at the size of that bill!
Mike Enzi and Chris Dodd – what troopers. Look at the size of that bill!

And of course there is more Congressional Budget Office drama, and more talk about the possible abortion exclusion and what this means for bipartisanship here and here.

Crisis pregnancy centers and the problems they create and other stuff

Posted in Reproductive Health Care, Sexual health by raisingwomensvoices on July 8, 2009

This is a great article and related video from RH Reality Check about crisis pregnancy centers. These centers spread misinformation about abortion – the fabricated breast cancer risk increase being one of the most prominent. These centers are put generally around college campuses and target women looking for medically appropriate care.

Also, Our Bodies Our Blog reminding us to be who we are.

An article from Feministing about adult sex education.

Conservatives strike again! Don’t let them exclude essential services!!

If conservatives get their way on health reform, we will soon have quality, affordable health care for all — except for women, terminally ill patients, gays and lesbians, people with HIV and anybody else conservatives don’t like!

A slew of proposed amendments submitted to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee Tuesday night would hobble that committee’s health reform proposal. Republican Senators Michael Enzi, Orin Hatch and Tom Coburn have proposed that:

* Coverage for abortion would be banned;

* Health providers and insurers would be protected against “discrimination” for refusing to provide health care requested by their patients including abortions, removal of feeding tubes from terminally ill patients, aid-in-dying (such as in Oregon, Washington and Montana, where this is legal) or really just about any health service they find objectionable;

* Federally-qualified health centers could not provide abortions and still get government grants;

* Any independent medical advisory board empaneled to offer advice to HHS on the benefits to be included in national health reform coverage would have to include “professional ethicists…with specialty in rights of the life of the unborn.”

These amendments would be damaging to women’s health and they don’t have public support. Public opinion research shows that large majorities of U.S. voters understand that reproductive health services are part of basic health care for women. Make sure the Senate HELP committee members know that the public supports health care reform that includes these reproductive health services and opposes exclusions like the ones being proposed. We want medical experts and citizens to make these decisions, NOT politicians.

If your Senator is one of these, let him or her know that you and the majority of US voters want them to stand strong for health reform that doesn’t include political exclusions: Edward Kennedy (MA); Christopher Dodd (CT); Barbara A. Mikulski (MD); Jeff Bingaman (NM); Patty Murray (WA); Jack Reed (RI); Bernard Sanders (VT); Sherrod Brown (OH); Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA); Kay Hagan (NC); Jeff Merkley (OR). You can contact them at help_comments@help.senate.gov. As always, please cc info@raisingwomensvoices.net so we can track and feature your excellent letters!