Here in the Commonwealth, this issue affects women (and men) from all walks of life. Whether you are a young college student, a single mother of two, or a married woman in her 40s, the right – and ability – to prevent pregnancy and to decide whether and when to have children have a profound impact on your life. We can be proud that Massachusetts is a national leader in protecting privacy and promoting access to health care. And our Congressional delegation includes many champions of a woman’s right to choose.
But we cannot simply rest on our laurels. In the coming days and weeks, each U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator will be asked to take a stand on a host of extreme proposals. First will likely be the next round in the well-publicized attempts to eliminate the national family-planning program (Title X) and to bar Planned Parenthood from providing health services through federal health programs like Medicaid. Then will likely come the votes on at least one of two other extreme bills (H.R.3 and H.R.358) that:
Increase taxes on small businesses and many individuals in an attempt to end private-insurance coverage of abortion care.
Allow hospitals to refuse a woman abortion care, even if her life depends on it.
Subject sexual-assault survivors who choose abortion care to audits by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Anti-choice lawmakers even attempted to redefine “rape” to make it more difficult for sexual-assault survivors to access abortion care. After facing immense public backlash, House leaders caved to pressure and removed that language from H.R.3.
If you couldn’t get to Washington, DC, today, please take a minute to join your pro-choice friends and allies in sending a clear message to your representatives – especially U.S. Senator Scott Brown, who has yet to take a specific vote on any of these measures – to ensure that when the time comes, Massachusetts expects them to vote against each and every one of these legislative assaults on women’s health and reproductive rights.