August 9, 2012 — Our monthly quote round up compiles notable comments from key stakeholders in women's health. In today's edition, we feature comments about the Affordable Care Act's women's preventive services provision, litigation against the contraceptive coverage rules and more.
"No woman should have to choose between seeing her doctor and putting food on the table for her family." -- HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a USA Today opinion piece marking the launch of the rules implementing the women's preventive services provision under the Affordable Care Act. By requiring that many health plans cover preventive services without copayments or deductibles, the provision removes a cost barrier that can lead women to delay or forgo care (USA Today, 7/31).
"Real religious liberty gives everyone the right to make their own decisions about their own health, including whether and when to use birth control." -- Sarah Lipton-Lubet of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington Legislative Office, in reaction to a federal court decision granting a temporary injunction allowing a for-profit company to not comply with the federal contraceptive coverage rules. The decision marked the first time a federal court has ruled in favor of plaintiffs challenging the provision ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 7/27).
"[I]t's a misuse of Congress's time and another cynical exploitation of the District to advance others' political agendas." -- A Washington Post editorial on the House leadership's decision to vote on a bill that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the District of Columbia. Several other states have passed similar legislation, but the federal bill make "a first for Congress," the Post notes (Washington Post, 7/30).
"The most reliable evidence in the record shows that abortion does not have a causal relationship to the risk of suicide and that South Dakota's mandated advisory is not truthful, but actually misleading." -- Judge Diana Murphy, dissenting from a decision by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a provision of a South Dakota law that requires physicians to tell women that abortion increases the risk of suicide. The decision reversed an injunction against the provision that was issued by a three-judge panel of the court (Reuters, 7/25).
"Where they live and who they love should not determine if they get justice." -- Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), calling for approval of a Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill that includes new protections for Native American women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The House and Senate have been at an impasse over reauthorizing the law since they each approved different versions earlier this year ("Floor Action Blog," The Hill, 8/1).
"[W]e cannot respond correctly to HIV/AIDS without addressing the majority who make up the pandemic: women." -- Anushay Hossain of RH Reality Check, in a blog post about the International AIDS Conference, which convened last month in Washington, D.C. Experts at the conference called for a greater focus on HIV prevention in women (RH Reality Check, 7/23).
"What is happening at Lackland is systemic and warrants this committee's immediate attention." -- Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) in a letter urging House Armed Services Committee leaders to call a hearing to investigate reports of sexual abuse at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. At least two dozen trainees at the base have reported sexual abuse by instructors (Letter text, 7/18).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership