Today, on the 42nd anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, our opponents have been attacking women’s access to abortion from all angles.
This comes right after the president’s State of the Union spoke to Americans’ desire for Congress to focus on things like the economy and jobs — not on battling against women’s fundamental rights. The anti-abortion bills in Congress and in the states come despite the fact that 68.7 percent of voters don't want government to interfere in a woman’s private decision about whether to have an abortion.
Here’s the roundup of political attacks (and just plain stupidity) not just today, but all this week — and how we’re standing up to it.
First: Some Good News
In a sudden move, House leaders canceled a vote on the nationwide 20-week abortion ban scheduled for today. Why? Because the bill is so dangerous, extreme, and unpopular that House Republicans backing it couldn’t get their membership lined up behind them. It’s no surprise that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposed the bill, stressing that it interferes with decisions best left to a woman and her doctor.
But the anti-women’s health politicians didn’t pull the 20-week ban vote because they acknowledged abortion’s proven 99 percent safety record. No. In a move that betrays their extreme agenda to chip away at abortion access, the politicians who tried to push the 20-week ban just turned around and put another anti-abortion bill on the floor.
And Now: A Litany of Bad News
Don’t worry — it’s not all bad. It’s just more of our time that politicians are wasting on anti-women’s health legislation, despite the fact that the public has been clear that further restrictions on abortion are not their priority, and that they don't want Congress to take women backward.
- Bill Passes House Today that Would Make It Nearly Impossible for Women to Access Insurance Coverage Including Abortion
Instead of the 20-week ban, John Boehner and his allies forced a vote today (on the anniversary of Roe, remember) for dangerous new restrictions that target women seeking abortion — and that bill passed in the House.
The law would take away abortion coverage for millions of women, and fundamentally change the health care market to eliminate coverage of a procedure that has been standard in the majority of private insurance plans for decades.
News articles touted the idea that House Republicans aren't “wasting any time” introducing anti-women's health bills. We disagree: They're wasting all of our time.
Voting on an anti-abortion bill today, of all days, is a deliberate insult to women who fought for the right to safe abortion — and an outrageous attack on women’s health and rights nationwide.
- Lindsey Graham Asks Supporters to Help Fix the 'Definitional Problem with Rape'
In more Roe-anniversary-day mayhem, Senator Lindsey Graham today told anti-women’s health activists: “I'm going to need your help to find a way out of this definitional problem of rape." He was talking about his efforts to bring the unpopular 20-week abortion bill back, and how that bill should define rape.
Here’s the thing: Women don't have a "definitional problem" with rape. We're really clear on what rape is. And if Senator Graham isn’t, it's probably time for him to stop legislating on it.
- State Attacks on Abortion
Anti-abortion politicians weren’t just active in Washington. They are pushing their extreme agenda to chip away at access to abortion in states across the country.
Today, for instance, the South Carolina House had a hearing on a 20-week ban. Similar to what Congress pulled this morning for being too extreme, the bill is a clear case of politicians trying to interfere in women’s private medical decisions.
We’re not letting these attacks in the states continue unabated. We are calling on politicians to follow six basic values that are central to women’s freedom and opportunity — values like the right to be free from politics interfering in decisions best left between a woman and her doctor.
Basic health care rights are the foundation of freedom and opportunity for women and their families — and we won't tolerate losing those rights. If you stand with us on these values, declare your support!
- Anti-Women’s Health Politicians Pledge to Improve Health… by Attacking Health Care
Remember the State of the Union on Jan. 20? Yeah, that also happened this week — as did Senator Joni Ernst’s rebuttal of the president’s speech, in which she tried to discredit the real gains we’ve made in expanding health care access. She weaved a tale about how access to affordable care has “hurt” American families, and used that fiction to justify the GOP’s scheme to repeal Obamacare.
Here’s what you need to know: In just one year, Obamacare reduced the number of uninsured by 10 million people — a historic improvement. Under Obamacare, 48.5 million women are benefiting from preventive health care with no copay — including lifesaving breast cancer screenings and well-woman exams. That also includes the full range of FDA-approved birth control methods without copay, which saved each woman an average of $269 in 2013.
Does that sound like “hurt” to you?
While she was at it, Senator Ernst gave a nod to the slew of anti-women’s health measures that her allies in Congress were already pushing. That includes a bill that could shut down abortion providers, and a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Now THAT is something that could really hurt women, men, and families.
Time to Fight Back
This anniversary of Roe v. Wade is about our rights, the rights we fought for and won 42 years ago. You know what this day is NOT about? It’s not about restricting abortion access. It’s not about turning a dangerous agenda into law, without regard for women's health, safety, or most fundamental rights.
Politicians aren't doctors, and they shouldn't interfere in women's medical decisions. That’s why we ask you to tell Congress to support the Women’s Health Protection Act. This federal bill works to preserve women’s health and rights by prohibiting laws and regulations that impose restrictions on abortion.