Yesterday was brutal.
While there are some who are satisfied with the health care reform bill that passed in the House of Representatives late Saturday night, I am not one of them.
When it came down to it, Congress passed a bill that will undercut women's access to comprehensive health care. Despite hundreds of thousands of voters like you and me who called on members of Congress to include women's health care in health care reform, the bill that passed Saturday night includes a ban on private abortion coverage for millions of women and would prohibit it in the new "public option."
At Planned Parenthood, we fought together with you until the bitter end (thank you), and once we lost the vote on women's health, we started to do what we do best — gear up for our next fight.
Opponents of legal abortion and health care for women are emboldened by Saturday night's vote and ready to bring their ban on abortion to the Senate floor. But now it's our turn. And this time we are going to use our strongest weapon: the White House.
That's why, today, we are calling on President Obama to ensure that lawmakers, especially those in his own party, support health care reform that protects women's access to reproductive care as the next round of debate and voting occurs in the Senate.
Please, join us by asking our president to stand with us to protect women's health care today and every single day until reform is passed.
President Obama campaigned on a promise to put reproductive health care at the center of his reform plan. Supporters of women's health voted for him and contributed to his campaign in record numbers — and now it's time for the president to reaffirm his commitment to women's health, and demand that Congress reject any bill that leaves women worse off under health care reform than they are today. Take a moment right now to tell President Obama that we need him to stand with us — in both his words and in his actions.
If there's anything we learned yesterday, it's that women's health is being targeted as expendable in health care reform. We also saw that anti-choice forces are working round-the-clock to roll back women's health benefits. We will each need to take action many times over the next few weeks, and we need strong and public support from the White House to help us.
I've said this before, and it deserves repeating: without access to abortion care, and to comprehensive reproductive health care, there is no choice. Please, take action now — and then spread the word on Facebook, among your friends and colleagues, via e-mail — whatever it takes.
Thank you so very much for standing with us and the women, men, and teens who rely on Planned Parenthood.
Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Action Fund