Friday, August 8, 2008

Help Hillary Protect Reproductive Health

A couple of weeks ago, Hillary Clinton wrote An Outrageous Attempt by the Bush Administration to Undermine Women's Rights about the Bush administration's attempt to define birth control as "abortion" via HHS rules:

The Bush administration is up to its old tricks again, quietly putting ideology before science and women's health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is poised to put in place new barriers to accessing common forms of contraception like birth control pills, emergency contraception and IUDs by labeling them "abortion." These proposed regulations set to be released next week will allow healthcare providers to refuse to provide contraception to women who need it. We can't let them get away with this underhanded move to undermine women's health and that's why I am sounding the alarm.
As reported in Medical News Today (emphasis mine):
HHS' draft regulation would define abortion as "any of the various procedures -- including the prescription and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action -- that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation" (Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 7/16). Under the draft, to receive funding under any program administered by HHS, researchers, clinics, medical schools and hospitals would have to sign "written certifications" that they will not discriminate against people who object to abortion -- however a provider or entity chooses to define it.
So what would this rule mean? That the health care worker's "choice" is more important than a woman's right to control her own health. Ectopic pregnancy that might kill you? Too bad, your health care worker doesn't like that procedure. Out of control menstrual cycles? No birth control pills for you to get them regular because your health care worker thinks preventing implantation is abortion. Raped and worried you might get pregnant? No Plan B for you if your health care worker doesn't approve!

If you aren't a woman of child bearing age or otherwise don't find this to be an important issue, realize that this is about much more than reproductive "freedom" or a woman's right to "choose", this rule would deny women access to reproductive health care. (And "reproductive health care" is not limited to having babies or preventing having babies. Women have all sorts of health care issues related to their reproductive organs throughout their entire lives.) Once health care workers have a right to refuse one medical treatment based on their own religious or personal beliefs, how many other medical treatments can this be extended to? It's a very slippery slope that we should avoid altogether.

Now, Hillary is asking for our help on this important issue. She is sending the following petition to Secretary of HHS:

Dear Secretary Leavitt,

I am appalled at the proposal now under consideration at HHS which will endanger family planning services and undermine the health of women across the country. I strongly urge you to refute this outrageous policy that threatens to affect Medicaid and Title X programs that are important to millions of families.

I stand with Hillary Clinton and women and men across America in speaking out against this proposal. We've had enough of putting ideology over science and failed policies harming healthy families.
Please visit HillPac and show your support by signing the petition.

Protect a woman's right to choose. Protect access to reproductive health care for women. Protect your right to make your own health care choices.


Dizzy said...

A well written and passionate argument in support of reproductive rights, and Hillary's stand against the Bush Theocracy. Great Job, LakersFan!


Anonymous said...

Great post! I've signed the petition.

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