NOW to Obama: Women Who Elected
You Need You To Support Birth Control
Statement of NOW President Terry O'Neill
December 19, 2011
The National Organization for Women calls on President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to retract the department's decision to overrule the Food and Drug Administration's recommendation on Plan B One-Step, and to keep all religious exemption clauses out of the Affordable Care Act regulations on insurance coverage of birth control.
The Obama administration's recent actions restricting access to birth control are both bad policy and bad politics.
Women were shocked and infuriated over Secretary Sebelius's unprecedented overruling of the FDA's determination that Plan B is safe and effective and should be available over the counter with no age restriction. The secretary's decision was baldly political, in stark contrast to the FDA decision, which was based on sound science and voluminous evidence.
Earlier this fall, Sebelius inserted a dangerous clause into HHS regulations, allowing some religious organizations to exclude contraception from their employees' health insurance coverage. NOW believes such clauses are unlawful and unconstitutional. We know they are harmful to women. But President Obama is actually considering caving in to demands of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to expand this so-called employer's 'conscience clause' -- as if an institution could have a conscience!
According to a national exit poll, Obama won 56 percent of the women's vote in the 2008 election, 13 points more than his Republican opponent. Women supported President Obama because we believed that he would stand up for women's rights. If his re-election team thinks it's good politics to restrict access to birth control, he needs to fire them immediately. Only the hopelessly clueless could believe that women will enthusiastically support a president or any politician who restricts access to birth control.
For Immediate Release
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