Raising Women’s Voices

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!

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