Ask Texas Legislature Not to Deny Employees Contraception

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Target: Texas Legislature

Goal: Reject bill that offers subsidies to companies that deny employees copay-free contraception.

Recently, a bill was introduced to the Texas state house that would offer subsidies to any company that refuses to provide contraceptive coverage to its employees. Republican Representative Jonathan Strickland put forth this bill that would essentially reward employers for violating the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and encourage them to manipulate others under the guise of religious freedom. Plea to the Texas Legislature to reject such a bill that would cause harm to so many.

Birth control is basic preventative health care and more than 99 percent of sexually active premenstrual women have used it at some point in their lives. More than half of women who use the birth control pill do so for purposes other than pregnancy prevention, such as managing endometriosis and ovarian cysts. Not only do the vast majority of women use contraception, but it improves women’s health in many ways. Improved access is directly linked to a decline in maternal and infant mortality and has aided women in preventing unwanted pregnancies, thus reducing the frequency of abortion.

Not only is contraception provision a health issue for women, but with the ever-increasing gap between wealthy and poor, the declining frequency of women who can afford birth control poses a serious problem. Women who use birth control consistently to prevent pregnancy, which would be significantly more expensive, will need to spend between 15 and 50 dollars per month and will consequently end up paying over 600 dollars out of pocket per year if they are not provided with contraception through insurance.

Still, many employers feel that coercing others to conform to their religious agenda is moral, and thus there is need to appeal to the state legislature and voice concern over such bills that would harm so many women. Birth control is a necessary form of health care and it is an economic issue that requires attention. What it should not be is a politicized issue that partisan groups manipulate to control the behavior of women. Rewarding companies with compensation in the form of tax breaks when they blatantly violate legislation is incongruous in every way.

Those who are morally opposed to birth control are at liberty to not use it, but with religious freedom and the freedom of speech comes freedom from religion and the right to basic health care. No religious agenda can dictate the behavior of others, and basic health care should not be a controversial issue. Call on the Texas Legislature to take action.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Texas Legislature,

A bill was recently introduced in the Texas state house that attempts to reward employers who violate the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Apparently, many partisan groups are under the impression that affordable care should not be easily accessible for those who need it most. The vast majority of sexually active American women have used birth control at some point in their lives, and it is outrageous that politicians are still trying to control women’s bodies by making a basic form of preventative care as unavailable as possible.

Not surprisingly, this bill was introduced by yet another white, middle-class male who has as much knowledge of women’s health and well-being as his recent predecessors who disgraced themselves in this past year’s election. This bill represents the atrocities of partisan attempts to manipulate a diverse culture and take it back to the dark ages where women not only struggled for basic rights, but were governed by a patriarchal system that left them helpless and silent. They are no longer helpless and they will refuse to be silent. Please stand up for women in Texas and do not allow those motivated by dogma to dictate others in the land of the free.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Todd Wiseman / Esther Groen

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