On Wednesday, the Ohio Prevention First Act received its first ever hearing for proponent testimony! 16 witnesses provided testimony (11 people spoke, 5 others sent written statements) in favor of the bill. You can read their statements at www.ppao.org.
One of the star witnesses was Elizabeth Williams, a rape survivor who explained the need for immediate access to Emergency Contraception. Ms. Williams is the Executive Director of Survivors to Alivers, a rape survivor support and awareness organization. In the video below, she shares her story about being raped by a teacher, her struggle for recovery and considering suicide, and what we can do to make the healing process easier for survivors by removing barriers to Emergency Contraception.
Anti-choice overlord Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) visited the University of Toledo campus last week. Pro-choice activists protested his appearance in Ohio. Local media coverage linked below:
This weekend, the House passed Speaker Pelosi's Health Care Reform bill along with the most damaging attack on abortion access since before Roe v. Wade. The "Stupak Attack" on abortion coverage stomps on a compromise that already kept tax dollars from funding abortions and went further by preventing most insurance plans from covering abortion.
Right now, almost all middle-class women who have private insurance through their employer receive a government subsidy. The Stupak Attack bans subsidies that pay for "any part" of a policy that includes abortion coverage. Essentially, if the current Health Care Reform bill passes Congress, women will not have insurance coverage for abortion.
Why is this important? Because if women can't have coverage for abortions, then many women will not have access to safe, legal abortion as an option.
This, of course, has very real implications. No access to safe, legal abortion leads to either unsafe, illegal abortions or an increase in unwanted pregnancies being carried to term leading to girls and women becoming unprepared mothers.
Now the Health Care Reform legislation moves to the Senate, where Pro-Choice legislators have a second chance to remove the Stupak Attack. Anti-choice activists, urged on by the Conference of Catholic Bishops, are fighting hard to keep the new language in place.
If the Senate does not remove the Stupak Attack, then coverage for abortions will effectively end. In order for a woman to have abortion covered after the Stupak Attack takes effect, she would have to sign up for a special, separate insurance plan that costs her, or her employer more money. This assumes she anticipates needing an abortion long before she needs one - at the time she talks to her employer's Human Resources about insurance.
- Would you ask your H.R. personnel for extra abortion coverage?
- Do you want Health Care Reform to be passed at the expense of the strictest limitation on abortion since before Roe v. Wade?
- Should improving Health Care include driving women to unsafe, illegal abortions?
Rachel Maddow covered the topic in the following clip:
Planned Parenthood Federation of America's President Cecile Richards on Hardball after the jump.
Today, Rep. Dan Stewart gave sponsor testimony for HB 333, the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies (CARE) act. This bill is a single-provision break-out of the Ohio Prevention First Act. He explained how hospital policies that do not permit rape survivors to be given Emergency Contraception by Emergency Room staff victimizes women who have already suffered through what no person should have to endure.
Last week, Rep. Tyrone Yates presented sponsor testimony on the Ohio Prevention First Act, HB 293. Rep. Yates spoke to a packed committee room as he laid out the six elements of Prevention First.
- Require sex education classes to provide students with medically accurate information about abstinence, contraception and condom use as ways to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. (also introduced separately as HB316 the Act for Our Children’s Future)
- Ensure that sexual assault victims have access to emergency contraception as well as any CDC recommended preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases in all hospital emergency rooms. (also introduced separately as HB 333, the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies (CARE) Act)
- Create a state teen pregnancy prevention task force that would recommend medically accurate and scientifically proven effective programs for reducing Ohio’s teen pregnancy rate.
- Require a pharmacy to dispense any prescribed drug, device or over-the-counter medication in stock without delay, consistent with the normal timeframe, and ensure that every licensed pharmacy does not intimidate, threaten or harass its customers in the delivery of services.
- Require the Department of Health to create materials to educate medical professionals and the general public about emergency contraception and to make them available on their website.
- Forbid a health insurance company from limiting or excluding coverage for FDA-approved prescription contraception if the policy covers other prescription drugs or devices, prevent insurance companies from charging a higher co-payment for contraception than they charge for other prescription drugs, and require the health insurance policies of public employees to cover contraception at the same rate as that of other prescription drugs. (also introduced separately as HB 332)
- July 2012 (1)
- May 2012 (3)
- April 2012 (3)
- March 2012 (4)
- February 2012 (2)
- January 2012 (4)
- December 2011 (3)
- November 2011 (1)
- October 2011 (4)
- September 2011 (5)
- August 2011 (1)
- July 2011 (3)
- June 2011 (11)
- May 2011 (2)
- April 2011 (4)
- March 2011 (3)
- January 2011 (2)
- December 2010 (2)
- October 2010 (3)
- September 2010 (1)
- August 2010 (1)
- July 2010 (1)
- May 2010 (1)
- April 2010 (3)
- March 2010 (3)
- February 2010 (3)
- January 2010 (2)
- December 2009 (5)
- November 2009 (4)
- October 2009 (2)
- September 2009 (4)
- August 2009 (6)
- July 2009 (9)
- June 2009 (4)
- May 2009 (9)
- April 2009 (10)
- March 2009 (7)
- February 2009 (6)
- January 2009 (2)