By Cindy Pearson, co-founder, Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need
That’s what I think every time I tell myself not to get discouraged about the attacks on health care reform. It wasn’t quite so hard back in the spring of 2010, when the attacks were just on health care reform. After all, reform was going to shake up for-profit health insurance companies and put an end to some of their worst practices. No wonder there were attacks on health care reform.
But now, it’s not just health care reform that’s being attacked, it is family planning, too, which is pretty amazing, given that almost everyone uses contraception at some point in their lives. I’m amazed every time I read about the Republican majority in the House of Representatives opposing federal funding for family planning. Don’t they know it was a Republican President who first signed the program into law? Don’t they know that the vast majority of voters support federal funding of family planning services? Don’t they know that the majority of people agree with Secretary Sebelius that insurance should cover contraception without co-pays? If the newly elected opponents of health care reform and reproductive health services do know these things, apparently they think they can ignore them. I want to let them know differently.
That’s why I’m proud to be part of the new Hervotes campaign. I know it’s not very likely that women who support health care reform and reproductive health services voted for the opponents of those programs. In fact, I think it’s pretty well documented that the problem with the 2010 election wasn’t with how people voted, but who voted, or more precisely, who didn’t vote. Those of us who work for health care justice – affordable, accessible, high quality care including comprehensive reproductive health services – need to get the word out that elections matter. We need to let folks know that their vote is important. We need to protect these health care services that are so important to women and their families. Hervotes is badly needed, and off to a great start. I hope you’ll join us.
This post is part of the multi-organizational #HERvotes blog carnival.