Feminist Majority Denounces the Passage of H.R. 7 in the House
The Feminist Majority decries the passage of a dangerous and extreme abortion coverage ban by the U.S. House of Representatives - the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," H.R. 7. Republicans passed H.R. 7 by a vote of 227-188 with 221 Republicans voting for the anti-abortion bill and 187 Democrats voting against.
Although H.R. 7 purports to prevent taxpayer funding for abortion, the bill actually prevents women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care.
"H.R. 7 is a blatant attack on women's reproductive rights and an attempt to take away a woman's ability to make personal health care decisions, including decisions about abortion," said Feminist Majority president Eleanor Smeal. "This bill flatly puts women's health at risk by dramatically restricting access to abortion coverage."
H.R. 7 would eliminate tax credits available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for women and families who purchase insurance plans that include abortion coverage through the newly created health insurance marketplaces. It would also force private multi-state insurance plans that participate in the marketplaces to stop providing abortion coverage and withhold the Small Business Tax Credit to those businesses that offer comprehensive health insurance - which includes abortion - to their employees.
"The Affordable Care Act banned health insurance companies from discriminating against women and increased the ability of all Americans to access quality healthcare by extending financial assistance to low- and moderate-income families and individuals," said Smeal. "But H.R. 7 especially and unfairly targets millions of women by placing comprehensive healthcare out of reach. This attack on women's health care must end."
In particular for women living in the District of Columbia, H.R. 7 is an extreme piece of legislation. The bill would prevent the District from using its own, locally-raised funds on abortion care for women struggling to make ends meet. These women should not be held hostage to Congress's radical anti-choice agenda.
"Instead of focusing on securing women's economic security and extending unemployment benefits to the millions of long-term jobless in this country, House Republicans have decided to re-launch an assault on women's health and rights, and in the process, threaten the economic well-being of women and their families," said Smeal.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .