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Friday, December 9, 2011
Emergency Contraception: What Happened?
"A stunning blow." "Outrageous." "Leaves me speechless."
These are just some of the ways women's rights supporters are describing the unprecedented action of Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, in overruling the FDA's determination that a form of emergency contraception is safe and effective, and should be available on store shelves to all women without age restrictions.
NOW is fighting back. We are determined to get President Obama to overrule Secretary Sebelius's purely political move, and you can help us win.
But there's more. Even as we are fighting for over-the-counter emergency contraception, another huge threat to women's access to contraception is looming: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is trying to force President Obama to allow religiously affiliated employers -- not just churches, but universities, hospitals and nonprofits as well -- to withhold birth control coverage in their health plans. This loophole would clearly undermine the Affordable Care Act's mandate of contraceptive coverage without co-pays.
That's right -- the radical right is coming after birth control. And the president is actually considering waving the white flag. But as NOW has been warning for years, every inch the president gives up only emboldens them to reach further.
With your help, we will remind the president exactly who voted him into office (hint: women!). We will also remind him that the people of this country want birth control to be more broadly available, not less. NOW activists across the country are phoning, emailing, tweeting and blogging, and we won't stop until the president stands up to the bishops by standing up for women and girls.