The Obama Administration made every reasonable effort to compromise with religiously-affiliated employers when implementing rules on women's access to birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
An update to the birth control benefit in the health care reform gives religious employers the ability to hand the responsibility to provide birth control coverage to a third party insurance company.1 But right-wing opponents led by the Conference of Catholic bishops are still balking at the plan.2
President Obama did the right thing for women when he rejected the demands of rightwing activists and gave all women access to no-cost birth control through their insurance coverage.3 But before these new guidelines go into effect, his administration is holding a public comment period on the new rules. We know that anti-woman activists will flood President Obama's Department of Health and Human Services with comments urging the administration to overturn its historic decision.
The Department of Health and Human Services and the medical community agree that providing no-cost birth control is an essential part of preventive health care for women. And Kathleen Sebelius, the director of HHS, said that providing birth control at no cost to women should be like "covering flu shots."4
However, before activists from CREDO and Planned Parenthood began petitioning President Obama, the New York Times reported that the president was dangerously close to caving to the demands of the anti-woman lobby by adding a giant loophole that would keep a large number of women from being able to access no-cost birth control.5
CREDO members sent over 160,000 petitions and made over 3,000 calls to the White House asking President Obama not to cave. In the end, President Obama listened to our call to protect women's health. But that doesn't mean our work is done.
Some right-wing organizations are already balking at the plan even though it allows religious employers to avoid providing birth control directly to their employees. These anti-woman extremists will surely use the public comment process to file reams of objections to the plan. So let's make sure the president hears from those of us who want him to stand strong and protect access to contraception.
Make sure that President Obama hears that the vast majority of Americans support his decision to ensure access to no-cost birth control for all women. Click below to submit a comment in support of access to contraception:
Thank you for standing up for women's access to birth control.
Jordan Krueger, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. Julie Rovner, "White House Tries Again To Find Compromise On Contraception." NPR, February 01, 2013.
2. Imani Gandy, "So What's the Deal with the New Contraception Mandate Rules?." RH Reality Check, February 01, 2013.
3. N.C. Aizenman, "Obama Birth Control Policy: Administration Lays Out Proposals For Carrying Out Compromise." The Huffington Post, 3-16-2012.
4. N.C. Aizenman, "New U.S. rules require insurance coverage for contraception." The Washington Post, 8-1-2011.
5. Robert Pear, "Democrats Urge Obama to Protect Contraceptive Coverage in Health Plans." New York Times, 11-19-2011.
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