“Now that historic health care reform legislation has been signed by President Obama and is the law of the land, it is clear that pro-choice women and their allies need to be more engaged than ever before in electing pro-choice candidates to Congress.
“Pro-choice women across the country and in Congress were engaged from the very beginning in the fight to pass health care reform, which promised to address many inequities women face in the U.S. health care system, including but not limited to gaps in reproductive health care. Despite their energetic support for reform, pro-choice women and their congressional champions were forced to battle aggressive attempts to roll back reproductive rights in the context of health care reform.
“While we were successful in stopping the Stupak abortion coverage ban from becoming law, the health care bill still includes the onerous Nelson provision that goes far beyond current law by placing unreasonable burdens on those who want to either offer or purchase private health insurance coverage for abortion.
“Millions of Americans, who, like us, are pleased that reform will do so much for women’s health, are rightly concerned that the health care reform bill imposes new restrictions on abortion coverage. The simple fact is that women’s reproductive health will continue to be used as a political football until we have a pro-choice majority in Congress. That’s why the Planned Parenthood Action Fund is committed to turning out pro-choice voters and electing more pro-choice members in the 2010 election.
“We did it in 2008, electing 27 new pro-choice members of Congress, and we will do it again in 2010.
“The health care reform debate energized pro-choice women across the country, and we will be channeling their energy for the 2010 elections. During health care reform, we engaged hundreds of thousands of new supporters and mounted an aggressive and extensive grassroots campaign for women’s health and health care reform. Women and their families generated more than 650,000 e-mails to Congress. They generated nearly 40,000 calls to Congress. They sent more than 32,500 postcards and petitions to Congress. And Planned Parenthood helped organize the successful Stop Stupak lobby days in Washington, DC, in November, December and January, attracting thousands of women and their families from around the country. We ran ads, published op-eds, and organized hundreds of meetings with members of Congress, in their district offices as well as on Capitol Hill.
“The health care reform debate certainly engaged our supporters and women across the country. We will channel that momentum and energy to elect even more pro-choice members of Congress in November and to ensure that future attacks on women’s reproductive health are defeated. We have no doubt that women will be energized to vote in the November elections.”