Today, the Women’s Media Center launched a fantastic day of action called “Not Under the Bus”, asking women everywhere to take a stand against the discriminatory, anti-choice language in the House and Senate health care bills. These bills would essentially throw women’s health care under the bus (hence the name of the campaign) in favor of the larger goal of health care reform. They seem to be forgetting that women are a majority of the people in this country, and that we will not allow them to take away crucial coverage and actively discriminate against us.
For people who haven’t been following the controversy particularly over abortion in Congress, here’s a short recap. Last November, the House passed its version of the health care bill, which included a nasty little caveat called the Stupak Amendment: any insurance plan funded with federal money could not provide coverage for abortion, except in the case of rape and incest. The Senate’s version of the bill, which passed on December 24, contained less extreme language but amounted to the same thing – instead of banning abortion coverage, they simply made it insanely bureaucratic. If a health plan does cover the procedure, subscribers would have to make two separate monthly premium payments: one for all insurance coverage except abortion and one for abortion coverage.
The House and Senate reconvened last week, and their job now is to reconcile the two bills that were passed. BOTH, however, throw women under the bus – and we need, now, to stand up and let our voices be heard. If you’re still not convinced, here are some facts on women’s health from Planned Parenthood:
- “Women are more vulnerable to high health care costs because women’s reproductive health requires more regular contact with health care providers, including visits for yearly Pap tests, mammograms and obstetric care.
- Tough economic times are especially difficult for women struggling to afford basic health care.
- Women of childbearing age spend 68 percent more in out-of-pocket health care costs than men, in part because of reproductive health-related supplies and services.
- Roughly 16.7 million women are uninsured and thus likely to postpone care and delay, or forgo, important preventive care, such as cancer screenings
- Six in 10 clients consider family planning centers, like Planned Parenthood health centers, their main source of health care. Often, these centers are their only interaction with the country’s health care system.”
Today is YOUR day to speak out against the blatant sexism in these two pieces of legislation. Things you can do to take action:
Tweet: Take Action today with @NotUnderTheBus. Demand that women’s rights be protected in #HCR: http://bit.ly/7u15IG #underthebus
Post our video to your Facebook page, Blog, or status:
Donate your Facebook Status to raise awareness:
“Today is Take Action Day with NotUnderTheBus.com. What are you doing to demand pro-choice, fair health care? http://bit.ly/7u15IG Take Action. Write an op-ed, call your Senator, sign a petition. Demand that women’s rights be protected in health care reform.”
Sign and Share the Petition: Tell lawmakers in Washington to keep women’s health care safe, fair and covered and urge them to strike any anti-abortion amendments from the final bill. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/do-not-throw-women-under-the-bus
And visit the Take Action page for more ideas!
HAITI INFORMATION AND ACTIONS
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Support the UN’s Response to Haiti Quake Victims United Nations Foundation
Honor UN Peacekeepers in Haiti Better World Campaign
Photo courtesy of the Women's Media Center.