Tuesday, March 06, 2012

You're one of the first people I'm asking

Automat --

Rush Limbaugh's vicious attack on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke -- calling her a "slut" for testifying to protect women's access to contraception -- illustrates just how extreme and toxic the GOP attack on women's health has become.

The pressure you helped put on Rush got him to issue a public apology, if only a half-hearted one, but this issue isn't going away.

Immediately after the Senate voted against the Blunt-Rubio bill last week, GOP leaders promised that wouldn't be the end of it. House Speaker John Boehner signaled he'd take it to the House. This is a bill that not only lets employers deny coverage for contraception, it also lets them sidestep any medical service they object to -- possibly even flu shots and cancer screenings.

We have work to do to protect women's access to care.

As someone who's taken action on women's health, you're one of the first people I'm asking to help make sure the GOP doesn't curb women's access to contraception and preventive care.

One of the best ways to do that is to write a letter to the editor of your newspaper. Explain why you think women -- not their bosses -- should make decisions about their health.

Check out our letter to the editor tool, and speak out against the GOP's attempt to deny women access to care.

A letter to the editor is an easy and powerful way to share your opinion on an issue and inspire others to join the fight on the local level. The tool provides some helpful tips for getting started.

Public opinion's already on our side -- a New York Times poll last week found 63 percent of Americans are in favor of employers covering contraception, and 99 percent of American women have reported using it at some point in their life.

We need to show how truly out of the mainstream the GOP is on this issue.

While the attack on women's health continues to play out in Congress and on nationally syndicated talk radio, the fight's being waged at the state level, too. As of today, there are about 450 proposals on birth control and abortion in state legislatures across the country -- including Ohio, Florida, Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, Mississippi, and Texas.

Last Thursday, the same day the Blunt-Rubio amendment was voted down in the Senate, the Florida House passed a bill that would require women seeking abortions to wait 24 hours, that the clinics they go to be physician-owned (to rule out Planned Parenthood), and require doctors to describe potential fetal pain, an issue that's very existence is still being debated by scientists.

Also on that day, the Arizona House passed a state-level version of the Blunt-Rubio amendment, which will now go to the State Senate.

And Virginia GOP governor Bob McDonnell is getting ready to sign a bill that would force women considering abortions to pay for ultrasounds, and require their doctors to ask if they'd like a photo.

Across the country, the GOP's waging this battle, regardless of what it would actually mean for women. It's up to us to fight back. The stakes -- for women's health and women's rights -- are simply too high not to.

Check out our letter to the editor tool, then write one to help protect women's access to health care:




Simone Ward
National Director of Women's Outreach
Democratic National Committee

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