Saturday, October 31, 2009

HealthCare Reform: We've come too far to let them win now: Act NOW!

Planned Parenthood

Take Action Now we are. After months of negotiations in House and Senate committees, health care reform is finally moving forward.

With a bill set to be debated by the full House next week, it's time to take stock of how far we've come — and push even harder for a health care reform bill that will protect the women, men, and families who rely on Planned Parenthood.

Because of relentless pressure from dedicated supporters like you, every version of the bills out there right now is free of the dangerous amendments anti-choice members of Congress tried to attach to health care reform. It's taken a lot of small steps and individual efforts to come as far as we have, and we thank you for your efforts.

It has certainly been a long road to get here.

Since February, Planned Parenthood supporters like you have been on the ground organizing for health care reform in states where our legislators need to hear from us most. All of you have done the hard work of phone-banking, talking to neighbors, and keeping the pressure on key lawmakers.

When anti-choice legislators threatened to hijack health care reform to eliminate choice for women nationwide, more than 220,000 Planned Parenthood supporters spoke up with a simple message: women must not be worse off after health care reform than they are now. Believe me, that message was heard loud and clear — and it's a message that lawmakers still need to hear, from now until the moment we pass a health care bill.

And when we needed to make sure the Senate bill included a Woman's Health Amendment, we reached out to you again — your calls kept Senate phones ringing off the hook and the amendment passed. So far, congressional offices have received more than 18,000 phone calls from our supporters. Throughout the long, difficult summer, Planned Parenthood supporters like you showed up at town hall meetings, you talked to friends and legislators, you helped build a movement that has brought us closer than ever before to health care reform that will bring hope and help to those who need it most.

And, as always, your support makes our own work possible. When Planned Parenthood works with pro-choice champions to ensure that health care reform expands access and protects choice, our greatest asset is the commitment of people like you. I can't say this enough: your support matters.

I know, because I've been talking to leaders in the House and Senate since the beginning, helping them craft legislation that protects women, respects choice, and expands access. We've worked closely with pro-choice lawmakers to defeat dozens of proposed amendments that would have been devastating for women's health, and it simply couldn't have been done without you. Your actions have made a real difference for women, and that's why we need you to contact your representative in Congress again today as we prepare for the final push toward real reform.

Now for the bad news: as the House moves to begin debate next week, anti-choice lawmakers are still threatening to remove reproductive health care from the bill — or even block the bill altogether. If they succeed, there's a very real chance that the final reform will do nothing to improve access to reproductive care and may even take away health care access women have now. This is a crucial moment for women's health, and we have to act now.

Please, contact your member of Congress today. Tell him or her to pass this crucial bill intact, and reject efforts to remove reproductive care from health care reform. Anti-choice groups are going to do all they can to turn the strong health care legislation that's already been drafted into another weapon to use against women. If we don't speak out, they could very well succeed — and women will pay the price for a generation or more.

Thank you for helping us come as far as we have, and for continuing to stand strong with us in the months to come.


Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Planned Parenthood Action Fund

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