Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dangerous Anti-Birth Control Efforts Pending

NOW Action Alert

Dangerous Anti-Birth Control Efforts Pending

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February 16, 2012


Send a message to your Congress members today, urging them to vote down any effort to restrict contraceptive coverage in health care.


Continuing Attacks on Birth Control - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other extremists are expanding their campaign against women's reproductive rights by going all out to restrict birth control. They are not content with the Obama administration's extraordinary accommodations to religiously affiliated organizations -- namely, churches have carte blanche to keep birth control out of their health plans, while for other religious employers the cost of birth control coverage is absorbed entirely by the insurer. Now the bishops and their allies in Congress want all employers to be able to strip birth control from their health plans. That this is happening in a volatile election year is no accident.

Contraceptive Coverage Needed - NOW continues to object strenuously to any exemption from the requirement that all health insurance plans cover contraceptives without co-pays. Birth control is basic preventive health care for women, and withholding it on "religious or moral" grounds violates women's rights to religious freedom, to privacy, and to be free from discriminatory treatment in the workplace.

It is an outrage that in 2012 women should have to fight for health care services used by virtually all women of child-bearing age. The vast majority of U.S. women of reproductive age -- including 99% of all sexually experienced women and 98% of those who identify themselves as Catholic -- have used some method of contraception at some point. And we know that many young women -- including students at Catholic universities -- rely on birth control. According to the Guttmacher Institute's analysis of data from the federal government's National Survey of Family Growth: Of women at risk of unintended pregnancy, 88 percent currently use contraceptives, with 87 percent of Catholic women using a method of contraception other than natural family planning.

Extremists' Election Year Political Gambit Will Backfire - Right-wing politicians and religious extremists are trying to make birth control into an election-year wedge issue, but their actions are wildly out of step with the values and attitudes of the people in this country. A poll by the Public Religion Research Institute released last week finds that 58 percent of Catholics believe that employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraceptives. A recent survey by Public Policy Polling found 56 percent of voters (women and men) support the requirement for health plans to fully cover birth control.

This information needs to be conveyed to your senators in order to defeat these attacks on birth control. Please send your message now.

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