Know Your Benefits Under Obamacare

Just yesterday, one of my friends paid $35 for her monthly co-pay for her birth control prescription. And she has good insurance – yikes!

But that was yesterday. Starting today, because of the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare), every new health insurance policy must include FDA-approved contraceptives without any co-pays or deductibles.

And that’s not all. Because of the ACA, starting today all new insurance policies must cover other women’s preventive care without co-pays or deductibles, including:

  • An annual well woman preventive care visit with your doctor.
  • Screening for:
    • Gestational diabetes
    • STIs
    • HIV/AIDS
    • HPV
  • Screening and counseling for domestic violence.
  • Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.

What’s more, because of the ACA, since 2010 many other adult preventive services like mammograms and colonoscopies have been covered without co-pays and deductibles.

We need your help to make sure women and their families know about these benefits – your contribution will help us reach hundreds of thousands of women.

If more women knew about these new benefits, and took advantage of them, the result would be a dramatic increase in women’s overall health, as well as fewer expenditures later on for conditions that could have been prevented.

For every woman we reach through your support, imagine the look on her face when she realizes that she can have a PAP test at no extra cost, schedule that mammogram she has been putting off, or finally fill that birth control prescription.

There is so much more to say about the Affordable Care Act, but I will leave you with one thought: This law, which eliminates discrimination against women in both insurance rates and benefits, is the greatest legislative advance for women since Title IX was passed in 1972.

HERvotes Blog Carnival: Reauthorize the Real VAWA – Reject “VAWA Lite”

By Kim Gandy, VP and General Counsel, Feminist Majority Foundation

HERvotes is joining our voices together in a blog carnival urging passage of the “real” Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization — the bi-partisan bill that has already passed the Senate.

The House has passed a version of VAWA reauthorization that some have called “VAWA Lite” or “fake VAWA” – because it removes the Senate bill’s provisions addressing safety on campuses and protections for LGBT, immigrant and Native American survivors of violence.

Every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. Domestic violence results in over two million injuries every year. Three women die every day in the United States as the result of domestic violence.

Since the passage of VAWA in 1994, the rate of intimate partner violence has declined by 67%. VAWA provides services to victims of violence and has improved the criminal justice response to violence against women.  But the last reauthorization of VAWA expired December 31, 2011.

Eliminating violence against women is not… must not… be a partisan issue.

HERvotes urges the House to pass the bi-partisan Senate VAWA and extend VAWA’s lifesaving programs and services for another five years.

Join us by sharing the posts below on Facebook, Twitter (using the hashtag #HERvotes), and other social media.  And be sure to follow @HERvotes on Twitter!

#HERvotes, a multi-organization campaign launched in August 2011, advocates women using our voices and votes to stop the attacks on the women’s movement’s major advances, many of which are at risk in the next election.

Cross-posted with #HERVotes.

Part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.

Read More:

3 Reasons It’s Critical to Reauthorize VAWA Now –  Cristina Finch, Amnesty International

 Ending Violence Against All Women-Christine Miranda, NOW

Turning “Ifs” into “Whens”: College Students Like Me Need Reauthorization of a Full VAWA – Dana Bolger, NWLC

Violence Exists. Women Exist. The Violence Against Women Act Should Too – Tessa Ross, Women’s Campaign Fund

AAUW Rallies for Inclusive VAWA – Laura Dietrich, AAUW

Violence Against Women at College? Something to Worry About – Allyson Bach, NWPC

Inadequate Legislation Empowers Abusers – Anny Bolganio, Coalition of Labor Union Women

Violence is Violence, No Matter What Gender – Samantha Aster, NWPC

Class Matters: Why VAWA Needs to Be Reauthorized – Danielle Marryshow, NWPC

Tragedy in Springfield, Mass.: When VAWA and Local Domestic Violence Intersect – Mary Reardon Johnson, YWCA USA

Perpetrators Don’t Discriminate, So Why is Congress? – Maggie Fridinger, National Council of Women’s Organizations

Save Our Campuses: Pass VAWA – Dani Nispel, National Council of Women’s Organizations

Empower Women: Reauthorize VAWA Today! – Hailey Cayne, Coalition of Labor Union Women

Joining the Chorus for VAWA – Arezu Kaywanfar, National Council of Jewish Women

Pass a Final Violence Against Women Act that Includes Campus SaVe – Chelsea Feuchs, Jewish Women International

Saving VAWA – Rev. Dr. E. Faye Williams, National Congress of Black Women

 NASW Still Supports Passage of Violence Against Women Act – National Association of Social Workers

Violent Against Women Act Helps Kids Too – Martha Burk

HERvotes Blog Carnival: No Religious Exemption for Birth Control Coverage

Despite enormous pressure from the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Obama Administration recently decided not to broaden the religious exemption for contraceptive coverage under the Preventive Care package of the Affordable Care Act. This demand for additional exemptions,  would have denied millions of American women contraceptive coverage, including students, teachers, nurses, social workers, and other staff (and their families) at religiously-connected or affiliated schools, universities, and hospitals, as well as agencies and institutions like Catholic Charities.

The Catholic Bishops are now leading a backlash against this decision, and women are speaking out.  Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of women who may have been denied access to birth control will now have full access under their health insurance plan, with no co-pays or deductibles, beginning in August 2012. Birth control is the number one prescription drug for women ages 18 to 44 years. Right now, the average woman has to pay up to $50 per month for 30 years for birth control. As a result, many women have had to forgo regular use of birth control and half of US pregnancies are unplanned.

Women of all faiths are employed by hospitals and schools that are owned by religious interests, and they should not be denied equal health care coverage.  We urge the Obama Administration to continue to stand strong for women’s health care.

Join us by sharing the posts below on Facebook, Twitter (using the hashtag #HERvotes), and other social media.

Part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.

Take Action:

Join the Feminist Majority Foundation in chastising the Washington Post for repeatedly running editorials attacking the Obama administration’s decision.

Join The National Women’s Law Center and Raising Women’s Voices in thanking Kathleen Sebelius for making the right decision.

Join UltraViolet in thanking President Obama and Secretary Sebelius.

Thank the Obama administration directly on WhiteHouse.gov.

Join the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health in telling President Obama you support birth control without co-pays.

Join The National Women’s Law Center in telling your senator to reject extreme legislation.

Join The Coalition of Labor Union Women in telling the Senate that you oppose S.2043.

Read more:

Sex, Contraception, Motherhood & The Current Madness – Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Mom’s Rising

The Long History of the War Against Contraception- Ellen Chesler, New Deal 2.0

Five Big Facts on Birth Control Not Nearly Enough Discussed by Men in the Mainstream Media– Erin Matson, NOW

Congressional Members’ Statements on Contraceptive Coverage Rule Not Based in Fact– Mara Gandal-Powers, National Women’s Law Center

Mission Accomplished With Komen: Now It’s Time to Save Birth Control Coverage!– Sammie Moshenberg, National Council of Jewish Women

Protect Women’s Health: Tell Your Senators to Reject Extreme Legislation– Judy Waxman, National Women’s Law Center

I Don’t Use Birth Control, But I Want Access To It– Abigail Collazo, Fem 2.0

This Week’s Attack on Women: Deny Contraceptives! Take Action!!– Carolyn Jacobson and Carol S. Rosenblatt, Coalition of Labor Union Women

Would You Like an Unplanned Pregnancy with that Burrito?– Jen Wang, NARAL’s Blog for Choice

HERvotes: Boehner Ups the Threat Against Contraception Coverage– Ms. Blog

Do Republicans Have Sex?– Silver Ribbon Campaign

Major Mainstream Religious Leaders Support White House on Contraceptive Coverage In Health Care Reform– Religious Institute

The Fight Millennials Never Expected: Birth Control– Sarah, Advocates for Youth

An Unholy Alliance Between the Bishops and the Right-Wing Attack Machine– Amy Allina, Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need, National Women’s Health Network

An Equal & Just World: A Woman’s Right to Control Her Own Reproductive Health– Hannah Sherman, Jewish Women International

Margaret and Helen on the Issues– Margaret and Helen

Religious Freedom in the Crosshairs of Catholic Bishops– Catholics for Choice

Co-Pay for Birth Control? Not Under my Conscience Clause– Bettina Hager, National Women’s Political Caucus

Select Media Coverage:  Catholics Supporting Contraceptive Coverage Under the ACA– Complied by Catholics for Choice

Seven Things You (and the Media) Need to Know about Birth Control -Jacqueline M., Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Women Are Watching Blog

Obama’s contraception exemption puts my patients at risk -Dr. Jennifer H. Tang, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health; Letter to the Editor, The Charlotte Observer

Contraception mandate doesn’t force use -Bernice Durbin, Letter to the Editor, USA Today

Why All Employers Should Provide Insurance Coverage for Birth Control -Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health

Delays and Barriers to Accessing BC at Georgetown -Sandra Fluke, Georgetown University Law Students for Reproductive Justice

How to Host a Birth Control Clinic in 3 Easy Steps -Emily T. Wolf, Fordham Law Students for Reproductive Justice

Obama Administration Ensures a Wide Range of Contraceptive Insurance Coverage, Even at Religiously-Affiliated Institutions -Women’s Law Project

Birth Control and Government: The Right of Refusal Should Belong to Women -Nancy K. Kaufman, National Council of Jewish Women

Through the Looking Glass on  Contraception Coverage -Debra Ness, National Partnership for Women & Families

For the Sisters -Megan Lieff, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Thank you, Obama, For Standing with ALL Women on Important Health Care Issues -Lacy Langbecker, the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health

Birth Control Matters -Nita Chaudhary and Shaunna Thomas, UltraViolet

Would you let someone make your contraceptive decisions for you? Didn’t think so -Mara Gandal-Powers, National Women’s Law Center

The Highs and Lows on Birth Control Access Coverage -Stephanie Drahan, National Women’s Law Center

Hey Media: It’s about the Health of Women and Families -Leila Abolfazli, National Women’s Law Center

Women of Childbearing Age: Take Your Talents Elsewhere -Jill C. Morrison, National Women’s Law Center

My Health Is Not a Pork Chop -Dania Palanker, National Women’s Law Center

Single 18 year-old female. Desperately seeking affordable and accessible contraception. – Keely Monroe, National Women’s Health Network

NASW Supports HHS Decision on Women’s Rights -National Association of Social Workers

Fight Against the Catholic Attack on Preventative Healthcare for Women -Mallen Urso, National Women’s Political Caucus

The Impact of a Religious Exemption for Birth Control to University Students – Emily T. Wolf, Fordham Law Students for Reproductive Justice

We’re Not Giving Up! – Amy Allina, Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need, National Women’s Health Network

Maryland Women Have a Right to Birth Control– Leni Preston, Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care

Critics Get It Wrong on Contraceptive Coverage– Marcia D. Greenberger, National Women’s Law Center

One More Time…– Jill Morrison, National Women’s Law Center

Breaking News: Access to No-Cost Birth Control Secured– Judy Waxman, National Women’s Law Center

What Difference does a Co-Pay Make? Plenty!– Cindy Pearson, Raising Women’s Voices

The Greatest Advance for Women in a Generation- Jean Silver-Isenstadt, MD, PhD, National Physicians Alliance

#Fail on Birth Control from The Washington Post– Thomas Dollar, NARAL Pro-Choice America

Response to Washington Post Criticism of Contraceptive Coverage– Nancy Keenan, NARAL Pro-Choice America

HERVotes Blog Carnival: Women v. the Bishops

by Kim Gandy, Feminist Majority Foundation

Welcome to the sixth #HERvotes blog carnival on the effort by the Catholic bishops to allow some institutions to refuse, under the Affordable Care Act, birth control coverage without co-pays to students and employees of  hospitals, universities, and other institutions, or other religious affiliated or connected institutions such as Catholic Charities.

Birth control coverage with no co-pays?  Without a doubt one of the most popular benefits of the Affordable Care Act, the preventive care provisions for women require nearly every health insurance provider to cover contraception without any cost sharing.

Until now.  Maybe.  Because there’s a full court press from the Conference of Catholic Bishops (yes, reportedly even the Archbishops are weighing in) pressuring the White House to dramatically expand this refusal clause.

The Catholic bishops want to exempt the health insurance of every religiously-connected or affiliated institution from this requirement, and millions of Americans would lose this benefit – students, teachers and staff at religiously-connected schools and universities; social workers, nurses, and other staff (and their families) at religiously-affiliated hospitals that employ thousands of people, huge organizations like Catholic Charities, and many more – regardless of the religious beliefs of those employees and students.

Although the pro-choice community opposed having any exemptions from contraceptive coverage, the guidelines issued by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius contained a narrow exemption that applied primarily to houses of worship.  But the bishops want more.  Much more.
If the bishops have their way, at least six million women with health insurance will lose this new contraceptive coverage benefit, for no reason other than where they work or go to school.

We must keep the Affordable Care Act strong, and preventive care for women is critical.

Join us by sharing the posts below on Facebook, Twitter (using the hashtag #HERvotes), and other social media.

If we spread the word far enough we can make sure the White House hears women’s voices as strongly as they are hearing from the bishops.

The blog posts below share more reasons why we need to take action now.  Happy reading and thanks for joining the fight to save contraceptive coverage in the Affordable Care Act.

#HERvotes, a multi-organization campaign launched in August 2011, advocates women using our voices and votes to stop the attacks on the women’s movement’s major advances, many of which are at risk in the next election.  We are very excited HERvotes is growing in membership and reaching millions of people.

Part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.

Birth Control Under Attack– Debra Ness, National Partnership for Women and Families

Losing My Religion: Catholic Bishops Attack Reproductive Rights, Hoping to Undermine Birth Control Coverage– Megan Kearns, Opinioness of the World

Don’t Boss My Birth Control– Amy Cotton, National Council of Jewish Women

Conservative Media Are Still Pretending That Catholics Don’t Support Insurance Coverage For Contraception– Marcus Feldman, Media Matters

President Obama: Don’t Cave in to Bishops– Say It Sister, NOW’s Blog for Equality

Fight Against an Expanded Religious Exemption that Denies Birth Control Coverage– Dren Asselmeier, Center for Inquiry on Campus

Latinas urge Obama Administration to Support Birth Control Access For All Women– Rebecca Pleitez, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

Conscience Clause: Preserving Morality or Creating Immorality?– Liz Beaulac, National Women’s Law Center

Sad Reality: New President, Same Fight– Stephanie Drahan, National Women’s Law Center

Make the Promise of Preventative Care in the ACA Real for All Women– The Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health

Calling On President Obama to Demonstrate His Respect for Women– Amy Allina, Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need

The Catholic Church Wasn’t on My Ballot: What’s Next for President Obama and Birth Control – Abigail Collazo, Fem 2.0

What is So Wrong With Abstinence Education? – Kat Sabine – the Bitch in the house

Take Action: Don’t Let the Catholic Church Deny Birth Control Coverage to Millions – Holly L. Derr, Ms. Magazine

Is Obama Caving to Bishops out of Misplaced “Gratitude”? – Holly L. Derr, Ms. Magazine

The Other 99% – Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, blogging on Huffington Post

A Message About Birth Control from the 71% – Meghan Shalvoy, Feminist Majority Foundation

The Other 99%: Will Obama Betray Them? – Carole Joffe, RHRealityCheck

Washington Post’s Gerson Ignores Catholics’ Opinions To Accuse The Obama Administration Of “Anti-Catholic Bias“- M.F., Media Matters

Right-Wing Media Twist Pelosi’s “Conscience” Comment To Claim She “Bash[ed] Catholics”– C.R., Media Matters

Fox & Friends Hypes Gerson’s Op-Ed To Accuse Obama Of Being “Anti-Catholic”– Media Matters

Women’s Basic Health Coverage Is Not For Sale– Miri Cypers, Jewish Women International

Tell Obama to Protect Birth Control– Maureen Shaw, sherights

Tell President Obama All Women Need Affordable Birth Control– Judy Waxman, National Women’s Law Center

My Employer Shouldn’t Control My Contraception Decisions– Leila Abolfazli, National Women’s Law Center

Blog Carnival: #HERVotes against the BishopsHeather Prescott, Knitting Clio

Should Catholic Bishops Have the Right to Control Your Life?– Janet Hill, Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW)

An Open Letter to President Obama– National Organization for Women

Should Organized Religion Have More Rights Than Women?– Georgia Platts, Ms. Magazine

Check out the action petitions:

Catholics for Choice

National Women’s Law Center

Feminist Majority Foundation

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

NARAL Pro-Choice America

Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health

National Council of Jewish Women

From the Front Lines: Defending Dr. Carhart’s Clinic

It’s 10:36pm, and abortion clinic defenders are just getting home from this week’s ground zero – the Germantown, Md. clinic of Dr. Lee Carhart.  Operation Rescue had declared the past nine days “Summer of Mercy 2.0,” harkening back to the original Summer of Mercy actions that had targeted Dr. George Tiller’s clinic in Wichita, KS.

We’re tired, our feet hurt, and some of us (and our signs) are still damp from an early afternoon downpour – but we are proud to have stood up to Operation Rescue every day this week, and outlasted them every single day.

The Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Clinic Access Project has provided daily legal observers during the Summer of Mercy siege at the Germantown clinic, as well as organizers, training, resources and law enforcement expertise.

Today, every patient entered and left the clinic safely, and Dr. Carhart and his staff drove away to our cheers and thanks.  But tomorrow is another day, and we will again be out in force – most of us leaving home at 6am or earlier – to make sure that, as our FMF signs say: This Clinic Stays Open.

Stop CBS From Airing Anti-Abortion Super Bowl Ad

Even as the trial continues for the murder of Dr. George Tiller, CBS is planning to air an anti-abortion ad during the Super Bowl game.

Tell CBS that this is no time to feed the anger and hatred of anti-abortion extremists.

CBS has a stated policy to reject all ads it deems controversial, including ads from MoveOn.org, PETA, and even the United Church of Christ, which dared to suggest that their church would model tolerance (“Jesus Didn’t Turn People Away. Neither Do We”). Continue reading “Stop CBS From Airing Anti-Abortion Super Bowl Ad”

>