Target: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Goal: Decry Senate Republicans for voting against bill that would protect women’s right to basic healthcare
Soon after the Supreme Court decided that the religious beliefs of a for-profit corporation trump its female employee’s right to basic healthcare, Senate Democrats quickly crafted a bill that would restore women’s access to the free contraception that they are guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans blocked this much-needed legislation, voting against women’s reproductive heath and voting for the “right” of one set of religious beliefs to dictate the behavior of others.
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance policies are required to offer birth control at no out-of-pocket cost. The Supreme Court declared that this violated a company’s religious rights. Although the Supreme Court majority claimed that the effects of the Hobby Lobby ruling were limited, 82 other employers have sued to restrict their female employees’ access to contraception from limiting their birth control options to refusing to offer it all together.
The proposed bill would prevent employers from restricting their insurance policies from offering contraception and coverage for other essential health services such as vaccines, and screenings for HIV and breast and cervical cancer. In effect, it would protect employees’ healthcare services from being subject to their employers’ whims.
Healthcare should be about science and best practices, not about imposing one’s religion on someone else or attempting to police behavior. After all, companies have not filed lawsuits demanding that they no longer cover treatment for diabetes or heart disease for those who are obese or lung cancer treatment for long-time smokers.
Denounce Senate Republicans for blindly and ignorantly placing the religion of one over the health and freedoms of many, and urge them to take a more progressive stance when the bill is put to a vote again come fall.
Dear Senator McConnell,
I was distressed to hear that the Senate Republicans blocked a new bill that would prevent employers from claiming religious exemptions in order to evade providing government-mandated healthcare to women. I urge you to reconsider your position on this important issue.
The Affordable Care Act requires insurance policies to provide contraption to women free of cost. This is a huge relief to women the country over who cannot always pay for reliable and effective birth control or for the type of birth control that is safest for them to use. These women want to make healthy, proactive decisions about their lives, including preventing pregnancy when they are not able to support a child or do not want to have children at all. Their reasons for using birth control and “lifestyle” should not be an issue in deciding either public or medical policy.
Similar healthcare policies are standard in other developed countries across the world. They have helped women to lead more fulfilling lives and allowed their children, if and when they have them, to thrive. Why are Senate Republicans so resistant to social policies that would benefit women, potential children, and future families the country over?
Please think about the far-reaching social consequences of your actions on women who have little and whose rights are constantly being eroded in favor of other people’s so-called religious freedoms, moral extremism, and greed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bryancalabro via Wikipedia Commons