Health Insurance (Reproductive)
Want your basic reproductive health services covered under health reform? Want to keep the coverage for reproductive health care, contraception, and abortion care you already have? Want to ensure that you, your mother, daugher, sister, friends, neighbors and the millions of women in the United States living without health insurance get coverage for primary reproductive health care once Congress gets through serving up sausage for your health benefits?
Then it's time for women to "bring it" and get back into campaign mode, according to Tina Tchen, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, speaking to more than 400 attendees at the 2009 Planned Parenthood Organizing and Policy Summit last week. PPFA is one among many national and state groups, including the National Women's Law Center, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the National Partnership for Women and Families working "night and day" and mobilizing constituents to protect coverage of basic reproductive health care.
Tchen, who shared a panel with Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and PPFA President Cecile Richards, provided participants with a status update on health care reform and reiterated the Obama administration’s commitment to women’s health.
"I can say this directly from the White House, the President reiterated to all of us in the senior staff that health care is the most important issue," said Tchen.
It is the signature issue that he ran on, it is what he believes is one of the singularly most important reforms that need to be made that affects America, that affects our economy.
Tchen also reminded the group that they had elected a pro-choice president. President Obama publicly re-affirmed his support for a woman's right to choose just days after his inauguration, on Thursday, January 22nd, the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. He stated:
Roe v. Wade "not only protects women's health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters," Obama said in a statement.
But, the PPFA panelists warned, his support for a woman's right to choose and for access to the services needed to prevent unintended pregnancy, stem the spread of infections and ensure all women have primary reproductive health care won't be enough to secure passage of a health reform bill that includes these essential health services.
In fact, both Republicans and conservative Democrats are pushing for restrictions in health reform legislation that could result in the loss of current benefits to millions of women.
"Health care reform must not leave women worse off than they are under our current system," wrote Richards in a recent action alert. But as various bills move through Congress, the "steady assault from anti-choice groups has become an avalanche," she said.
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