Tiny Action: Women's Health is a Critical Necessity, October 19, 2017

Concerned about government spending, poverty, children’s health, equal pay and equal rights, or graduation rates in America? This week’s Tiny Action is for you, because women’s health and family planning have both a direct and indirect impact on all of the above.

This week, tell Congress that ALL women in America need access to the health care that they need. 

 

1. Call your Rep to express your outrage over the threat to rollback the contraceptive mandate in the ACA.

“My name is [NAME] and I vote in [zip code]. I’m calling because I am strongly against rolling back the contraceptive mandate in the ACA. Adding more exemptions will erode access to preventative health care for millions of Americans, leading to higher rates of abortions and negatively impacting the economy over the long term by not allowing women to plan for their futures. I demand Congress take immediate actions to ensure all women have affordable access to the healthcare they need, and I ask that you please support the Women’s Health Protection Act (S. 510/H.R.1322).”

What it is: Trump’s rollback of the ACA birth control mandate risks access to birth control coverage for millions of women. Certain organizations are already exempt for religious reasons, but the new rule allows even publicly-traded, for-profit companies to make this decision for employees on the basis of religion or “moral convictions.”

Why it matters: When young, unmarried women first got access to birth control, rates of college-educated women entering professional programs soared. Today, for every ONE public dollar spent on contraception, the government saves $5.68 to $7.09. This is one of the most effective areas of spending in the entire budget, something even conservatives can support.  

 

2. Call your Senators to oppose a federal 20-week abortion ban.

“My name is [name] and I vote in [zip code]. I'm calling to express my serious opposition to the ‘Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’ (S.1922/H.R. 36) and any similar proposals in the future. A federal 20-week abortion ban is unconstitutional, not based on science, and jeopardizes women's health and physicians' ability to care for patients. Please vote against this bill. These deeply personal and emotional decisions should be between a woman and her doctor and not involve politicians playing games with partisan agendas and junk science. This is why I also ask that you please support the Women’s Health Protection Act (S. 510/H.R. 1322).

What it is: The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would ban abortion after 20 weeks, with the exceptions of rape and incest if reported to authorities. A similar bill recently passed in the house before Lindsay Graham introduced the act in the Senate.

Why it matters: For starters, the claim that a fetus can feel pain that early is pure fiction, and simply taking this claim seriously will have a dangerous impact. This is a medical necessity, not an epidemic of careless women, as Graham and his  45 co-sponsors seem to think. Just 1.3% of abortions take place after 20 weeks and “late term abortions” (those after 24 weeks) are conducted by only four doctors in the entire country.

 

The truth is, women’s health in America is on the defense. With more than 2,500 pieces of legislation put forward since 2011 and steps that show they’re just getting started, we need your help before the entire country takes the lead of states like Texas: Within five years of slashing budgets and aggressively working to shut down Planned Parenthood, the state has seen steady increases in teen abortions and births, an increase in maternal health spending three times larger than the original budget cut, and the worst maternity mortality rate in the developed world. We must stop this trend before it becomes worse.

As always, our aim is to turn tiny actions into big results, so we hope we can continue to count on your help! Do you have suggestions for our next tiny action? Email info at democratsabroad dot org and let us know.