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July 31, 2012

Pro-Choice Americans Stand Up for President Obama’s Contraceptive Coverage Policy

Activists to hold events to celebrate progress for women, expose continuing legislative and legal attacks on birth control

Washington, D.C.—As the first phase of the contraceptive-coverage policy made possible by the health-reform law takes effect, affiliates of the nation’s leading reproductive-rights group are reminding Americans of the escalating attacks on birth control.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said that, despite a public backlash against legislative attacks on contraception earlier this year, opponents of the health-reform law are continuing to wage attacks on women’s health.

“Contraception is an important part of women’s health care, “Keenan said. “That’s why we support President Obama’s policy that will make it possible for women to get insurance coverage of birth control without a copay, regardless of where they work. Some politicians and anti-contraception groups refuse to give up on their efforts to make it harder for women to get birth control. They want any small business, corporation, or insurance company, on the basis of personal beliefs, to deny any essential health-care service, including contraceptive coverage. These politicians and groups are out of touch with our values and priorities. That’s why we will stand with President Obama and other allies in fighting to protect contraceptive coverage for women.”

But this policy is still under attack. On August 1, the first phase of the contraceptive-coverage policy, as well as other important benefits, takes effect.

Unfortunately, Congress has introduced seven bills to dismantle it. For instance, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act (H.R.6097).  Rep. Sensenbrenner’s bill would allow any employer – even one in the private sector – to refuse to provide this coverage for religious or moral reasons.  The effect would be to place potentially millions of Americans’ contraceptive coverage in jeopardy.

To date, 24 lawsuits have been filed by various organizations, individuals, and several states challenging the policy. Just last Friday, a judge decided to allow a challenge against the Obama administration’s contraceptive-coverage policy to move forward. Heating and air-conditioning business owners who personally oppose contraception asked the court for permission to discriminate against their employees by denying them insurance coverage of birth control. The judge granted the business the temporary right to refuse to comply with the policy while the court prepares to hear the case.

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its affiliates are standing up to these attacks by out-of-touch politicians, and are asking their supporters to do the same. With a goal of channeling 100,000 messages to Congress in support of the contraceptive-coverage policy, the campaign also will leverage social media to counter attacks on birth control. The organization’s affiliates in Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Virginia also are organizing visibility events to stand with President Obama and other allies as the health-reform law’s implementation moves forward.

Event Information

Minneapolis, MN

What: Visibility event thanking President Obama
Where: 2722 University Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN
When: Wednesday, August 1, at noon
Contact: Linnea House
Phone Number: 651-602-7655

Concord, NH

What: Visibility outside of Rep. Charles Bass' office, who has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its birth-control policy
Where: 114 North Main St.
Concord, NH
When: Wednesday, August 1, at noon
Contact: Sara Crane
Phone Number 603-568-1921

Columbus, OH

What: Visibility event outside of Sen. Rob Portman's office, a high-profile opponent of contraception
Where: 37 West Broad St.
Columbus, OH
When: Wednesday, August 1, at noon
Contact: Jaime Miracle
Phone Number: 614-221-2594

Portland, OR

What: Walk for Women's Health Event with special guests: Senate Majority Speaker Diane Rosenbaum, State Representative Lew Frederick, and State Representative Elisa Kenny-Geyer
Where: Hawthorne Bridge
Portland, OR
When: Wednesday, August 1, at 4p.m.
Contact: Michele Stranger-Hunter
Phone Number: 503-223-4510 ext. 10

Richmond, VA

What: Visibility event outside of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office, a high-profile opponent of contraception
Where: 900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA
When: Wednesday, August 1, at 12:15 p.m.
Contact: Tarina Keene
Phone Number: 202-530-4162

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