Call Your Congressperson Now! Yes, I’m Asking You to Call Again.

EMERGENCY: We need your phone call NOW

FROM: Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood

“I’m writing to you with an urgent request.

“Late yesterday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops met with leaders in the House of Representatives in their bid to eliminate women’s access to abortion care under health care reform.

“We have just received news that their efforts are working, and Representative Bart Stupak has introduced an amendment to the health care reform bill that will result in women losing health care coverage for abortion.

“We urgently need you, and your friends and family, to call your Representative. Call and ask him or her to reject the Stupak amendment that will remove abortion coverage from health care reform. After you call, just reply to this message and let us know how it went.

“If the bishops and their anti-choice partners in the House succeed, they’ll permanently alter health care in America, even taking away benefits from women that they have today. The bishops want to effectively eliminate abortion coverage in both private plans and the public option. We simply cannot stand for such a discriminatory, mean-spirited attack on women.

“It’s a chilling ultimatum: eliminate choice for millions of women, or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will do all they can to kill health care reform. This is a true crisis for American women, and we need you to act now.

“Call your representative at (202) 225-5006 and tell him or her to reject this attack on women’s health — and then forward this message to your friends, your family, everyone you know and ask them to do the same (and don’t forget to post the news to Facebook, Twitter — everywhere).

“We need you now, more than ever. Thank you for standing strong with us in the face of this vicious last-minute attack on women.”


Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Federation of America

P.S. Here’s how you can urge others on Facebook and Twitter to call Congress:

For Facebook, post this to your status:
EMERGENCY – Representative Bart Stupak has just introduced an amendment to the health care reform bill that will eliminate coverage for abortion care. I just called my Rep and you should too. Call 202-730-9001 and ask him or her to reject the amendment.

Post this message on Twitter:
URGENT – Call yr Rep NOW to reject the Stupak amend to hlth care reform. Wld eliminate all abortion care. 202-730-9001. Pls RT.
And here’s the news report:


Rebecca (Here’s my debut blogpost for Huffington Post, related to this matter, and what the President ought to do, in my view.)

My November 3, 2009 Post:

House Dems Continue Health Reform Negotiations, Close to Deal on Abortion Coverage


November 3, 2009 — House Democrats are nearing a compromise over abortion language in the chamber’s health care reform bill (HR 3962), CongressDaily reports. House leaders are hoping to attract enough support from moderate Democrats “to mitigate a threat” from Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) that he will block the bill from coming to the House floor, according to CongressDaily (Hunt/House, Congres Daily, 11/3). Stupak said on Monday that he will “continue whipping my colleagues to oppose bringing the bill to the floor for a vote until a clean vote against public funding for abortion is allowed.”

According to the Washington Post, the outcome of the negotiations “could be crucial” to determining if the legislation will pass, since “Democrats need the vast majority of their caucus to back the bill” and nearly all House Republicans have said they will vote against it. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said, “We are making progress” on the issue, adding that an agreement has not been reached (Bacon, Washington Post, 11/3).

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) has been working on the compromise with Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.), who on Monday circulated language that would revise an amendment sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) without codifying Hyde Amendment language, according to CongressDaily. After reviewing Ellsworth’s draft, Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.) said his concerns about abortion coverage in the bill were eased because “[i]t makes it clear that no federal dollars can be used for abortion” (Hunt/House, CongressDaily, 11/3).

According to the Post, the disagreement over abortion coverage focuses on proposed federal subsidies to help lower the cost of policies under new health insurance exchanges. The Capps amendment allows people who are eligible for subsidized coverage to purchase policies that cover abortion services. Insurers would segregate a portion of funds generated through employer or individual premiums from public funds to ensure that no federal money goes toward abortion (Washington Post, 11/30). Abortion-rights advocates say that the amendment would not expand access to abortion beyond what it is now, NPR’s “Morning Edition” reports. Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said that this is “not at all what the reproductive rights movement had hoped for,” adding that it is “not a win for women — it’s a compromise.” Northup went on to note that about one in three U.S. women will have an abortion in her lifetime and that the procedure “should be a part of her reproductive health care.”

Abortion-rights opponents claim that the amendment favors abortion rights, “Morning Edition” reports. Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, called the amendment a “sharp departure from decades of federal abortion policy” (Rovner, “Morning Edition,” NPR, 11/3).
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