Just when we think we’ve seen it all, the Bush Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has drafted regulations that would undermine women’s access to birth control.
Under the guise of clarifying existing federal laws that allow health professionals to refuse to provide abortion services, the HHS draft regulations redefine abortion to include commonly used, FDA-approved methods of contraception, such as birth control pills and IUDs.
This radical redefinition of abortion is at odds with widely accepted science and with the government’s own definition — that pregnancy begins with the implantation of a fertilized egg.
The draft regulations, in fact, threaten all women’s access to contraception and severely limit the ability of health care providers to provide information and services to low-income women.
The draft regulations are also intended to trump existing state laws that protect women’s access to reproductive health care by requiring health insurance plans that provide drug benefits to include coverage of contraception, by requiring hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape survivors, and by requiring pharmacies to fill patients’ valid medical prescriptions.
This is a shameful political ploy in the waning days of the Bush Administration which could cause immeasurable harm to the 17 million women in need of publicly funded contraceptive services.
Ironically, if implemented, these regulations could increase the need for abortion by making it more difficult for women to access the contraceptive services they need.
1. Join us in telling HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt to abandon these dangerous and ill-conceived regulations.
>>Make your voice heard — email Secretary Leavitt today.
2. Urge friends, family, and co-workers to take action today.
3. Learn more. Select the links in the box on the right to review letters from the Senate and House, a backgrounder, press release and more.