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Women's Health Advocates Gather in Dracut to Demand Senator Brown Protect Access to Essential Health Care

Local women support access to birth control and other preventive care

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Alicia Johnson
Media Relations Coordinator
(617) 515-0531


Published: 02.27.12| Updated: 02.27.12

DRACUT—On Saturday dozens of women’s health advocates gathered at an event hosted by Senator Scott Brown at ML Shaws Country Kitchen in Dracut to show their support for women’s access to health insurance that covers birth control, regardless of where they work.

“My ability to access birth control shouldn’t be compromised based on where I go to school,” said Lizzie Jekanowski, who attends Boston College, a Jesuit Catholic university. “I know many women who struggle to pay for birth control. Coverage of birth control without co-pays will be a great benefit to my health and for all young women and men. Women need access to birth control, with no copays, no matter where they work or study.”

Recently, the White House issued a new policy to ensure women have affordable access to birth control with no costly co-pays, no matter where they work. However, opponents of women’s access to birth control are pushing for the passage of a dangerously overreaching measure introduced by Senator Blunt which would allow corporations and insurance companies to deny access to any health services they find objectionable, including birth control, maternity care, HIV/AIDS treatment, mammograms, and cancer screenings.

As a supporter of the Blunt measure, Senator Brown has made himself a target of women’s health advocates who feel it is imperative Brown hear from his disappointed constituents.

“Senator Brown and others who support the Blunt amendment are woefully out of touch with the health needs of their constituents,” said Dianne Luby, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. “Today’s message is simple: we deserve affordable coverage for basic preventive health care, including birth control.”

The women’s health advocates demanded that Congress “Let Women Speak” – a reference to last week’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the new women’s health policy where the makeup of the panel was nearly all-male and entirely opposed to birth control coverage.

“Sen. Brown backs the Blunt amendment, a reckless and dangerous proposal that blows up the very notion of health insurance,” said Ethan Rome, Executive Director of Health Care for America Now, the nation's leading grassroots health care advocacy organization. “It would give all employers the legal ability to deny their workers any commonplace preventive health services they want, whenever they want, for any reason. Women should have access to no-cost birth control no matter where they work.”

The gathering was organized by Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Health Care for America Now, CREDO Action, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, ACLU of Massachusetts, and MassUniting, with support from the Coalition to Protect Women’s Health Care, a national group of more than 40 diverse organizations devoted to the common cause of protecting women’s access to preventive care.

Women’s health supporters are gearing up for additional fights in Washington, including a vote this week on Senator Blunt's (R-Mo.) amendment.

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The Coalition to Protect Women’s Health Care is comprised of more than 40 organizations united in support of protecting all women’s access to the full range of preventive health services, including birth control. The coalition represents millions of members from the provider, labor, faith-based and reproductive health communities. To learn more about the Coalition, visit www.coalitiontoprotectwomenshealth.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook (@TheCPWH).

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