by Gloria Lau
Chief Executive Officer, YWCA USA
Today, the U.S. Senate voted 51-48 to defeat the amendment proposed by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) that sought to limit women’s ability to obtain contraception from their employers. This narrow victory demonstrates just how partisan women’s health issues have become in this election season. All Democratic Senators except for three voted to defeat this amendment. And, the soon-to-be-retired Republican Senator from Maine, Sen. Olympia Snowe, joined her Democratic colleagues in voting against this intrusive legislation that would have given businesses control over their female employees’ reproductive health care coverage.
The YWCA USA believes women need to determine their own contraceptive health care needs. And, if a woman’s religion does not endorse certain reproductive methods then that woman can choose to decline such services, rather her employer.
So, why are politicians going back to the issue of reproductive coverage that was settled 40 years ago? Why aren’t our elected officials instead focusing on jobs, housing and other economic challenges that most women and their families now face? When we go to the voting booth in 2012, we need to support political leaders like Senator Olympia Snowe who can rise above party politics to preserve common sense policies for women’s health care. During this election year, clearly our vote counts now more than ever.
For those of you who spoke out against the Blunt amendment, the YWCA USA thanks you for your passion and commitment. We need to remain alert and ready to speak up against the politicization of women’s issues during this election season and beyond.
Related Post: Women’s Health Becomes Political Football, Just as Women’s History Month Starts
7 responses to “Blunt Amendment is Defeated in Close Vote Along Mostly Partisan Lines – Can We Get the Politics Out of Women’s Health Care?”
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