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Statement by Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, on Sen. Roy Bluntís proposal to undermine health insurance and deny women birth control coverage:
“Sen. Roy Blunt’s proposal is so out of the mainstream, it would allow any business or corporation to deny any essential health care service they object to, including coverage for birth control.
“As a trusted health care provider to one in five women in America, Planned Parenthood believes that women, regardless of where they work, should have access to health insurance that covers preventive health care, including birth control, with no co-pays.
“Yet, Sen. Blunt’s proposal would render the notion of health insurance meaningless, and give businesses and corporations effective veto power over their employee’s health care decisions.
“It’s clear that this is not about religious freedom, since the Blunt proposal would allow any business or corporation to deny any essential health care service they object to.
“That’s not health insurance, and that’s not what Americans want.
“Planned Parenthood urges Congress to reject this extreme proposal and stand up for women’s health.”
Congress is expected to vote this week on a measure introduced by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) that would not only overturn the birth control coverage benefit, it would undermine the entire notion of health insurance.
In short, the Blunt proposal says that employers and insurance companies do not have to provide coverage for ANY essential health service that they object to on the basis of personal religious belief or moral convictions.
That means employers and insurance companies can not only deny access to birth control, they can deny access to any essential health care service, including maternity care, HIV/AIDS treatment, mammograms, and cancer screenings.
The Blunt proposal is designed to eviscerate critical protections included in the Affordable Care Act and to completely undermine a fundamental principle of the health care law — that everyone in this country deserves a basic standard of health insurance coverage.
KEY QUOTE FROM JOE SCARBOROUGH:
Influential conservative commentator Joe Scarborough warns Republicans not to go too far on the birth control issue. On NBC’s Meet the Press, he said, “Republicans are going to be pushing it on the House floor. They need to be very careful. They were winning when this was a first amendment issue. When suburban women start thinking they are attacking the rights of contraception, that becomes very dangerous for them politically. They need to tread lightly.” [NBC’s Meet the Press, 2/12/12]