We thank President Obama for standing strong in the face of relentless and, at times, truly unprincipled opposition, and for taking steps that will ensure that nearly all women will soon have the health coverage for birth control they need. This was a key promise for women in the health reform law, and one that was imperiled by the disturbing tactics and gross distortions opponents used. Now, with this rule, we are closer to seeing that promise fulfilled and women and families will be much better off because it is.
With this rule all employers, except churches and other houses of worship, are on a path to provide contraceptive coverage to female employees. And we are pleased that a separate rule will ensure that all college students will be able to access the full benefits offered by health reform.
We thank the President for refusing to bow to opponents who once again politicized women’s health. Reproductive care is basic health care for women, and this rule will help ensure that all women soon have access to birth control services.
As we express our gratitude for the President’s unwavering determination to protect women’s health, we are also sobered by how extreme and dangerous are the views held by opponents and by how much power they have in both chambers of Congress. Their views differ radically from the mainstream, yet they came within a few votes of prevailing.
Women in this country are horrified by how anti-choice and anti-contraception extremists have turned women’s health into a political football. It’s past time for lawmakers to end the war on women and instead focus on improving our health care system, rebuilding our economy and creating the kind of jobs that will allow families to thrive.
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.