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What year is it!?  The growing drumbeat of attacks on full coverage for crucial contraceptive health care for women continues despite the fact that 99% of women in our nation have used birth control at some point in their lives. [1]  

First, an all male panel of "expert" witnesses on birth control testified before Congress.[2]  Then a major backer for presidential candidate Rick Santorum tried to make a joke of the entire issue by saying, "Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn't that costly.”[3] And then this week, we fought against an amendment introduced by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt aimed at further limiting birth control access.[4]  (Thankfully, the powerful voices of MomsRising members and others were heard, and the Blunt amendment was just defeated by a narrow 51-48 voting margin hours ago).

Unfortunately, while the Blunt amendment defeat was a narrow victory, the attacks on full coverage for crucial contraceptive health care for women continue.

This has got to stop.

And MomsRising is stepping up to the plate to push back on these attacks.

*Can you pitch in $5 now? https://action.momsrising.org/donate/BirthControlAttacks/

With your help, MomsRising will work to make sure that women and mothers' voices are included in ALL conversations about birth control by sending letters to Congress, speaking out in the media, bringing your stories forward with leaders, and launching a campaign to make sure that everyone who needs birth control can get it.

Birth control matters to moms and to our nation.  Reliable birth control that permits women to responsibly control how many children to have, and when to have them, has been nothing short of a miracle -- not just for women and mothers, but for our country as a whole. It's improved the health of women and their families, as well as given women and mothers increased access to economic and political opportunities unlike any other time in history.

Make no mistake, this current backlash against full coverage for contraceptive health care is really a backlash against the increasing empowerment of women -- and against mothers, in particular.

Mothers care deeply about their children, and we hear from members each day about how they're fighting for their children with their hearts and souls. Part of that fight is making sure we all have access to birth control: Giving parents control over planning their families allows them, in turn, to give their children the best futures possible.

Moms like, Martha, who shared, "I am glad that I could chose how old I would be when I gave birth to my children. Now my three daughters are old enough to give birth. I want them to have the same freedom to choose when they will start a family -- if they want to raise a family. A women's right to control when she gives birth should be as basic a right as freedom of speech, or freedom of religion."

*Can you lend a hand to help stop the attacks on universal access to birth control by donating $5 now?  https://action.momsrising.org/donate/BirthControlAttacks/

The economic security and health of mothers and families across our nation is dependent on the ability of mothers' to control how many children to have and when to have them. Frankly, just providing the basics for one child requires a lot of money. For example, just a year of childcare costs more than college in many states! [5]

In fact, in 2010 it cost $226,920 on average for a middle-income, two-parent family to raise one child from birth to age 18. [6]  That's not including college.

To be sure, mothers and parents are working hard in the face of heavy economic obstacles. Now, in order to make ends meet, most modern families need two parents in the labor force and three-quarters of moms are now in the labor force.

But even with parents working hard, many families are struggling. Recent U.S. Census data showed that nearly one in six American women are living in poverty and 22% of children are living in poverty. [7] Imagine what the poverty rate would be if mothers couldn't control the number of children they were having.

Women need access to birth control, not only to control how many children they have, but also for their overall health.  At MomsRising we regularly hear stories from women like, Uma, who shared: "I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycsytic Ovarian Syndrome) as a teenager and was prescribed birth control pills at that age to regulate my period and to prevent me from developing ovarian cancer. I rarely had coverage for birth control pills and at times it was a financial hardship and I would go without the pills in order to pay for other necessities. There are millions of women diagnosed with the same disorder, which requires birth control pills to regulate their periods and prevent cancer. It is a moral issue for me--the morality of providing essential healthcare to millions of women in this country. So much of the time, men's healthcare is given a priority while women are asked to sacrifice their health to care for others. It is time that the politicians do the moral and ethical thing and provide free access to birth control for women, whether for health reasons or contraception. It is our right."

Yet right now, even as families are struggling, politicians are making news by playing unfair games with birth control. Let's be clear: The well-being and economic security of women, mothers, children, and families should never be used as a political football.

This madness has got to stop.

*Please consider taking a moment to donate $5 for the MomsRising campaign to stop these attacks: https://action.momsrising.org/donate/BirthControlAttacks/

Increased access to birth control is an important part of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (health care reform). Now is not the time to turn back the clock.

Women’s voices must be heard!

Together, we are a powerful force for women and families.

  1. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html
  2. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/rep-darrell-issa-bars-minority-witness-a-woman-on-contraception-2/
  3. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/02/16/foster-freisss-prescription-for-birth-control-debate-an-aspirin-tablet/
  4. Full text of the Blunt Amendment and here
  5. NACCRRA report: Executive Summary, Parents and the High Cost of Child Care 2011
  6. http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/21/pf/cost_raising_child/index.htm
  7. http://www.nwlc.org/analysis-new-2010-census-poverty-data-%E2%80%93-september-2011?ak_proof=1

 


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