Friday, November 20, 2009

Help Defend Women's Reproductive Rights - From New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn

Dear New Yorker,

As you know, the debate on health care reform is moving ahead in Washington. This issue is one of the most important policy discussions of our time. Yesterday I joined Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Gloria Steinem and women leaders from across the city to speak out against the Stupak-Pitts amendment that has been attached to the health care reform legislation currently moving through Congress. This amendment will severely diminish the progress we have made toward ensuring women's access to basic reproductive services, including abortion. (To learn more about the Stupak-Pitts amendment and what it would mean for women, click on the following link to Planned Parenthood's website: http://plannedparenthoodaction.org/healthreform/668.htm)

Back in 2007 I launched NYC Women First, a campaign designed to remind women to put their health first. The Stupak-Pitts amendment is asking women to put themselves last in order to pass health care reform legislation.

Now make no mistake: This country desperately needs health care reform. But we don't need legislation that makes women's health an ideological litmus test. This amendment sends a message that the welfare of women is not considered central in expanding health care. Women's health care is not an "extra" to be used as a bargaining chip. We need health care reform that addresses the needs of all Americans.

If you are as concerned about this amendment as we are, please call or write your U.S. representative and senators and urge them to strip the unacceptable language of the Stupak-Pitts amendment from the final version of any health care reform bill.

Below is the text from a letter I recently sent to the New York Congressional Delegation expressing my deep concern about the Stupak-Pitts amendment. Please feel free to use the same language, or change it as you see fit.

You can find your representative's contact information at house.gov and your senators' at senate.gov.  You can also call the Capitol's main switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Christine C. Quinn
Speaker
New York City Council

Download:
    http://www.nycagainstrape.org/sps/go.cgi?c=SHYMBfr0Q5iXujsDbFLO
    (38.5K Bytes)

This alert is posted on our site, at
    http://www.svfreenyc.org/alert_118.html


Members of the New York Congressional Delegation
Washington DC 20515

Dear Senators and Representatives:

I am writing as a citizen and a voter who is deeply concerned about the state of health care in America.  That is why I am so disappointed with the inclusion of the Stupak-Pitts amendment in the House healthcare reform bill.  I urge you to ensure that the final health care reform package doesn't deny women access to basic reproductive services, including abortion.

We have been assured repeatedly that no one would loose benefits in the reform process - and yet the Stupak-Pitts amendment that was adopted and included in the House bill would make it virtually impossible for private insurers participating in any new health care system to offer abortion coverage to women.  This is a reduction of access to reproductive choice for women across the country.  Presently more than 85 percent of private insurers offer abortion coverage.

Now make no mistake: This country desperately needs aggressive health care reform.  But we don't need reform that makes women's health an ideological litmus test.  This amendment sends a message that the welfare of women is not considered central to the welfare of the nation.   That is a message that we cannot allow to stand.  Women's health care is not an "extra" to be used as a bargaining chip.  We need health care reform that addresses the needs of all Americans.

I urge you to act to ensure that the final version of health care reform legislation is stripped of the unacceptable language of the Stupak-Pitts amendment.

Thank you for your hard work to achieve health care reform.



Sincerely,
Your Name

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