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February 14, 2012

NARAL Pro-Choice America Praises Senators for Countering Attacks on Contraceptive Coverage

Leading senators outline far-reaching threats of Blunt amendment to birth-control coverage for women

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said her organization is proud to stand with pro-choice senators who held a news conference today to amplify their fight against an extreme legislative attack that could take away insurance coverage of birth control from women.

“We are proud to stand with our champions in the Senate who are fighting to ensure contraceptive coverage for women,” Keenan said. “The American people are with President Obama and want anti-contraception members of Congress to back off their efforts to take away a woman’s ability to get insurance coverage of birth control without a copay.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) has proposed an extreme amendment to none other than a transportation bill. The Senate could take a vote on the measure. The Obama administration’s policy already exempts churches and other places of worship from the contraceptive requirement. The Blunt amendment, however, aims to undo the no-cost birth control policy completely. The amendment would also go so far as to allow insurers to deny coverage for any essential health service required under the health-reform law they oppose based on personal views.

“If opponents of birth control get their way, then any employer—including the owner of a restaurant or sporting goods store— who opposes contraception could keep his employees from getting insurance coverage of birth control,” Keenan said. “Women’s contraceptive coverage would depend on their bosses’ views on contraception. This agenda is out of touch with our country’s values and priorities.”

Keenan said her organization is spending $250,000 this week to air radio ads in markets in four states: Colorado, Florida, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The radio effort builds on more than 70,000 email messages its activists have sent to their senators and paid patch-through calls channeling additional messages to Senate offices. NARAL Pro-Choice America also rolled out a $45,000 online ad and recruitment plan, including ads on Facebook and Google to raise the visibility of the threat to birth control among women ages 18 to 40.

In addition, NARAL Pro-Choice America is a member of the Coalition to Protect Women’s Health Care, an umbrella organization comprised of more than 30 organizations representing millions of members that support women’s access to birth control, including provider, labor, religious, and reproductive-health groups.

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