Thousands of Americans from across the country will travel to Washington D.C. to send a strong message to Congress that the proposals undermining women’s health and reproductive rights are unacceptable and must be stopped.
Members of Congress and other high-profile women’s health advocates will speak at a rally at 11:30 a.m. near the U.S. Capitol.
The anti-choice House leadership took control of Congress on a promise to create jobs, but instead has focused its legislative efforts on undermining women’s health and taking away health care that women currently have. If enacted, these extreme proposals would result in millions of women losing access to life-saving preventive care, including cancer screenings and HIV tests, as well as family planning, birth control and private insurance coverage of abortion care.
In addition to Planned Parenthood Federation of America and NARAL Pro-Choice America, the following organizations are participating in this grassroots lobby day: The American Civil Liberties Union, Advocates for Youth, American Association of University Women, Arizona Progress ACTION, Black Women's Health Imperative, Catholics for Choice, Center for Reproductive Rights, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Choice USA, Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc., DC Vote, EMILY's List, Feminist Majority, Guttmacher Institute, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, National Council of Jewish Women, National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Network of Abortion Funds, National Organization for Women, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women's Law Center, National Women's Political Caucus, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Religious Institute, Sister Song: Women of Color Collective, Sisters Together And Reaching, Inc. (STAR), Union for Reform Judaism, Women of Reform Judaism, and YWCA.
Background on Policies that Attack Women’s Health
In this Congress, the anti-choice House leadership has already introduced various pieces of legislation that attack women’s health, including: a proposal to bar Planned Parenthood from providing health services through federal health programs like Medicaid, the elimination of the national family-planning program (Title X), and the Smith bill, which would use tax hikes on individuals and small businesses to end private health insurance coverage of abortion care.
Each year, the national family planning program (Title X) provides five million individuals with family planning, birth control, and lifesaving preventive care that includes cancer screenings. Planned Parenthood health centers, which are the foundation of the national family planning program, provide millions of additional women with the very same kind of care, as well as HIV testing, STI testing and treatment, annual exams, and other important services that women need, deserve, and have been receiving for decades.
In addition, H.R.3 (the Smith bill), is a far-reaching piece of legislation that will raise taxes on America’s families and small businesses in an effort to end the private insurance coverage of abortion. Recent expert testimony before Congress highlighted that vague provisions in H.R.3 also have the potential to increase taxes on large businesses that provide health insurance coverage for abortion services. During that same hearing, a nonpartisan tax expert told the committee that bill could subject rape survivors who choose abortion care to audits by the Internal Revenue Service to ensure that their request was tied to an actual rape.
Another bill, H.R.358, includes restrictions on private insurance coverage of abortion and a provision that allows hospitals to refuse to provide abortion care to women who will die without it.
Simply put, the new House majority is launching an all-out legislative assault on women’s health and reproductive rights, and Americans from across the country are demanding that Congress reject these extreme efforts and focus on jobs and the economy.