Applauds Senator Clinton for Taking a Stand Against Proposal to Limit Access to Reproductive Healthcare
NEW YORK – Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) will hold a press conference today at New York’s Bellevue Hospital, speaking out against the Department of Health and Human Services’ recently proposed changes that would limit access to contraception and increase the number of healthcare providers allowed to refuse women reproductive health services. Center for Reproductive Rights board member Dr. Machelle Allen, associate medical director of the hospital will introduce the senator.
Last week, the Bush Administration began circulating draft regulations that purport to educate recipients of HHS funds of their obligations under the Church and Weldon Amendments, which prohibit recipients of federal funds from discriminating against healthcare providers who object to the provision of abortion or sterilization services. In reality, the regulations go much further, sweeping contraceptive services under an overly broad definition of abortion, and allowing virtually anyone connected with the provision of services to refuse to participate.
President Nancy Northup released this statement in response:
“The Center for Reproductive Rights applauds Senator Clinton for tirelessly working to stop the Bush Administration from, once again, politicizing birth control at the expense of women’s ability to get basic health information and services. This time, the administration is threatening virtually any law or policy designed to protect women’s access to safe and effective birth control. If enacted, the proposed HHS rules would legally protect doctors and hospitals, among others, who refuse to provide women birth control. These regulations could have a disastrous effect on millions of women-entire facilities getting state or local government funding could refuse to make birth control available or to even refer women elsewhere for contraceptive services. In some cases, even HMOs or health insurance companies could deny women access to birth control.”
“With millions of Americans still underserved in the nation’s healthcare crisis, the Center calls on citizens who believe that women’s access to reproductive healthcare should not once again be sacrificed for political gain, to write to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt now demanding that he stop efforts to undermine the health of American families. After all, these proposed rules are yet another example of the Bush Administration abusing its authority in the name of ideology to the detriment of the very people it is expected to protect and serve.”