— Melanie Roussell, National Press Secretary
Democratic National Committee
I wanted to make sure you heard the good news: Recently, the Obama administration announced that employers will soon be required to cover contraception for women with no co-pay or deductible.
This new law will cut costs for millions of Americans and improve women’s health.
But Mitt Romney’s campaign called it an “attack on religious liberty,” an attempt to “impose a secular vision on Americans,” and even started a petition on their website asking supporters to fight back.
Mitt’s so-called proof is that although churches that mainly employ and serve members of their own faith will be exempt, the new law will apply to religious-affiliated organizations, like universities and hospitals, that serve the general public — and women of all faiths.
This rule was crafted with respect for religious beliefs — just as no woman will be forced to buy or use contraception, these new rules mean that no doctor will be forced to prescribe it. The goal is to make sure that all women who want to use contraception have access to it — and Mitt calls that a “violation” of “religious principles.”
As a Democrat and a woman, I’m asking you to voice your support for the Obama administration’s decision to put women’s health over politics.
A powerful way to do that is by writing a letter to the editor. Letters to the editor allow your opinion to be heard by thousands of people, and can inspire other women to stand up and join you. Our tool makes it incredibly easy to do.
The real kicker behind Mitt’s petition is that as governor of Massachusetts, he signed a health law that maintained a contraception requirement very similar to the new federal rule. That makes his claim that it now infringes on religious liberty dubious at best, and pandering at worst.
Remember, Mitt’s the same guy who was a big supporter of stem cell research — until he changed his mind. The same man who went from being proudly pro-choice to so anti-choice that he’s said he would have supported a so-called ‘personhood’ amendment for Massachusetts, which, like the one rejected in Mississippi, would have banned abortion even in the cases of rape or incest, and common forms of birth control like the Pill.
His real stance when it comes to religious liberty and women’s health is whatever will get him the most votes at the right time.
As a point of contrast, here’s what some folks have said about the President’s decision on contraception coverage. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health spoke out in support of him not exempting religious organizations: “We applaud President Obama’s decision to reject an enormous and harmful expansion that would have denied coverage for birth control for millions of women.”
An editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote about the decision’s regard for religious freedom, saying the ruling “carefully balanced respect for this tradition with concern for equity and public health.”
Now it’s your turn. Your stories and reasons for supporting this decision will be amplified much further than a politician like Mitt Romney’s attempt to weigh in.
Make your voice heard in supporting the President’s decision by writing a letter to the editor today: