The Ladies Murray and Clinton Respond to Bush’s “Contraception as Abortion” Bill
posted by July 17 at 13:07 PMon
Senators Patty Murray and Hillary Clinton wrote the following joint letter today to Michael Leavitt, head of Bush’s Health and Human Services Department, which just proposed new regulations that would deny federal aid to groups that refuse to hire people, including nurses, who object to abortion or birth control. The proposal’s insanely broad definition of “abortion” includes many common types of birth control.
Dear Mr. Secretary:
It has come to our attention that the Department of Health and Human Services may be preparing draft regulations that would create new obstacles for women seeking contraceptive services.
One of the most troubling aspects of the proposed rules is the overly-broad definition of “abortion.” This definition would allow health-care corporations or individuals to classify many common forms of contraception – including the birth control pill, emergency contraception and IUDs – “abortions” and therefore to refuse to provide contraception to women who need it.
As a consequence, these draft regulations could disrupt state laws securing women’s access to birth control. They could jeopardize federal programs like Medicaid and Title X that provide family-planning services to millions of women. They could even undermine state laws that ensure survivors of sexual assault and rape receive emergency contraception in hospital emergency rooms.
We strongly urge you to reconsider these regulations before they are released. We are extremely concerned by this proposal’s potential to affect millions of women’s reproductive health.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
Senator Patty Murray
Clinton and Murray have been tireless advocates for women’s rights, including reproductive rights, most recently fighting to make emergency contraception (Plan B) available over the counter. Senator Barack Obama has not issued a response to the Bush Administration’s proposal.