Thursday, February 25, 2010

Take Action for reproductive rights in #hcr This Wk! #prochoice

Take Action NOW for Women's Health

Ask Congress and the President to Enact Health Care Reform that Does Not Roll Back Reproductive Rights

After several weeks of uncertainty, we are seeing a new push by the White House to finally pass a health reform bill. As the President prepares to bring Congressional leaders in for a health care summit this Thursday, Raising Women's Voices is calling on you, our tireless network of advocates, to let them know that progress is great, but they must do better for women than the proposal now on the table!
The White House posted its proposal yesterday– taking the Senate-passed bill as a base and putting forward a list of suggested changes.  Next up, on Thursday, February 25, the White House will host a health care reform summit with Congress, and Democratic leaders may act soon after the summit to pass significant health legislation. Advocates of health reform – in the Congress, the White House and at advocacy organizations – have said the goal is to get enough agreement coming out of the summit for Congress to finish health reform making it very important to make our voices heard NOW.
Several elements of the proposal address changes that RWV believes are necessary to ensure a health reform bill that meets the needs of women and families. Unfortunately, the President did nothing to fix the restrictive abortion provisions in bill, such as eliminating the requirement that policyholders would have to make two separate, monthly payments of private dollars to get a policy that includes abortion coverage.
We must actively support the parts of the President's proposal that will be good for us and our families, but we must also let the White House and Congress know that the bill must not set back women's health coverage by restricting or denying access to abortion coverage.  We must ask our elected officials to show leadership on improving the abortion language in the Senate bill. We elected a pro-choice President and pro-choice leaders to Congress-- now we have to make sure they know we're counting on them to stand up for women! 
In addition to participating in teach-ins, rallies and marches (see our events highlighted below!), it's very important to reach out to the White House and to targeted representatives before and after the summit on February 25th.

1. Please call the White House to urge the passage of health care reform that does not roll back women's reproductive rights.  Specifically, insist that health care reform remove the discriminatory 2-check provision in the Senate Bill. You can reach the White House at (202) 456- 1414.

2. In addition to the Republicans Obama is trying to woo at the summit, certain Democratic leaders will also attend. If one of these leaders represents you, please share the same message with them;

From the House:
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California - (202)225-0100,
  • Representative Robert Andrews, of New Jersey- (202) 225-6501
  • Representative Xavier Becerra of California- (202) 225-6235
  • Representative Jim Cooper of Tennessee- (202) 225-4311
  • Representative James Clyburn, of South Carolina - (202)225-3315,
  • Representative John Dingell of Michigan - (202) 225-4071,
  • Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland - (202) 225-4131,
  • Representative George Miller of California - (202)225-2095,
  • Representative Charles Rangel of New York - (202)225-4365,
  • Representative Louise Slaughter of New York - (202) 225-3615, and,
  • Representative Henry Waxman of California - (202)225-3976;

From the Senate:
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) - (202)224-3542,
  • Senator Baucus of Montana - (202) 224-2651,
  • Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota- (202) 224-2043,
  • Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut- (202) 224-2823,
  • Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois- (202) 224-2152,
  • Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa- (202)224-3245,
  • Senator Patty Murray of Washington- (202) 224-2621,
  • Senator John Rockefeller of West Virginia- (202) 224-6472, and
  • Senator Charles Schumer of New York - (202) 224-6542.

3. Contact your own legislators and ask them to stand up for women and get health care reform that meets our needs and doesn't roll back our rights! Contact your own Senators and Representatives today!

RWV Regional Coordinators Take it to the Streets!

Our coordinators around the country took the opportunity to re-vitalize the momentum for health reform over President's Week. In this newsletter, we'd like to shine the spotlight on great work done in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, and Washington DC!
Here in New York, Raising Women's Voices joined broad network of allies to march across the Brooklyn Bridge on February 20th. The march, 700 strong, ended with a call to action for Congress to get us the health care we need, NOW! Read about the exciting event from the perspective of an RWV intern here and see here for more photos of the beautiful scene from the Brooklyn Bridge.
New Jersey coordinator, Citizen Action of New Jersey, gathered people along Main Street, and outside Montclair Hospital to demand action and passage of national health reform. At Rider University, the campus chapter of the College Democrats gathered students to call Congress.  You can see the great press coverage and pictures are available on their website here.
In Pennsylvania, on February 17th, our RWV coordinator Rebecca Foley of Women's Way, spoke at the Send-Off Rally for the March to the Finish Line for Melanie in the historic Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia. The local Raising Women's Voices coalition was a sponsor of this event. This rally attracted over 150 supporters of health care reform and Rebecca spoke about the importance of passing quality, affordable health care reform that works for women and protects women's reproductive rights. She called on Congress to protect our ability, as women, to make decisions about our health, rather than take these choices out of our hands. See more about the Send-Off Rally here. And to join the March in Washington DC today, February 24th, click here! We'll post links to photos from Melanie's March on the RWV Blog and via Twitter!

 With the future of health care reform hanging in the balance at the President's summit tomorrow,  EQUAL, MoveOn, HCAN, and many other partners are aiming to send one million messages to Congress urging them to finish health care reform. This Virtual March for Real Health Care Reform aims to make sure that Congress knows that voters want comprehensive health care reform.  Click here to add your name!

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