Take Action Now – Senator Reid to Introduce Health Care Legislation This Week

Senator Reid is expected to introduce a health care reform bill this week in the Senate. We must demand that it be Stupak-Pitts Free.

# 1 Sign the attached letters to President Obama and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand telling them health care must be Stupak-Pitts free!
Click here to sign the letter to President Obama
Click here to sign the letter to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand

#2 Call or write an e-mail to President Obama telling him that health care reform isn’t reform if women lose the coverage they currently can have for abortion. For example, simple say or write:
“President Obama, you are on record saying that if we liked the health insurance we have, we could keep it. Tell Congress you meant it! Anti-choice extremists and religious zealots should not decide health insurance practices. We are not bargaining chips to mollify the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and anti-choice zealots in Congress who are committed to destroying our reproductive health!”
Click here to email: http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/
Or call: Comments: 202-456-1111 Switchboard: 202-456-1414

# 3 Write Letters to the Editor of our local newspaper. Express your outrage at the Stupak-Pitts Amendment and call on the Senate and the President to keep new abortion restrictions out of health care reform.
Here is a sample: Get Religion Out of Health Care Reform http://www.abqjournal.com/opinion/guest_columns/112212246342opinionguestcolumns11-11-09.htm
Some Local Newspapers:
The New York Times email to letters@nytimes.com
The Wall Street Journal email to wsj.ltrs@wsj.com
The Journal News http://www.nyjnews.com/contact/letters.php3 or email to letters@thejournalnews.com
The Scarsdale Enquirer email to LLeavitt@ScarsdaleNews.com

#4 Pressure Stupak’s money sources
Here is a list of major PACs that contributed to Bart Stupak’s last election. If you’re a customer, tell the company you are outraged that their officers and employees contributed to Stupak’s re-election. Tell them you are considering withholding your business if they continue to support him. http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2009/11/07/call-bart-stupaks-donor-pacs-and-tell-them-theyre-paying-for-his-anti-abortion-activism/

#5 Thank the local New York House representatives (Congressmen Engel, Weiner and Hall, and Congresswomen Lowey and Slaughter) who stood with us and voted against the Stupak-Pitts Amendment. Tell them they to vote against any bill that includes Stupak-Pitts language. http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml#ny

In the Senate, our outrage is producing small signs of progress. Already, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has spoken out on the Senate floor and at a press conference to express our concerns. Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas also voiced opposition to any further erosion of abortion coverage when she said that the House amendment goes too far by prohibiting what private plans can offer. We need to thank them!
For Senator Gillibrand: http://gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/
For Senator Lincoln: http://lincoln.senate.gov/contact/

What Happened and What is the Stupak-Pitts Amendment?

On Saturday, November 7, 2009, the House of Representatives betrayed women by passing a Health Care Bill that included the Stupak-Pitts Amendment. This was in direct response to pressures exerted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who threatened to kill health care reform if the amendment was not included.

The Stupak-Pitts Amendment bans any abortion coverage completely from the insurance exchanges that would be established by health reform to provide affordable health coverage. This includes both the private plans in the exchange and the so-called “public option,” which would be the government-run alternative to costly private insurance plans. Even women buying insurance with their own private money will not be able to get a plan that covers abortion. Instead, they will have to buy a separate abortion “rider” to the plan at an extra cost.

This dangerous amendment undermines the ability of millions of women to purchase private health insurance that covers abortion, even if women pay for all or most of the premiums with their own money. This amendment reaches much further than the Hyde Amendment, which has prohibited public funding of abortion in most instances since 1977.

*Special thanks to Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need

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