HERvotes Blog Carnival: No Religious Exemption for Birth Control Coverage

by Kim Gandy, Feminist Majority Foundation

Despite enormous pressure from the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Obama Administration recently decided not to broaden the religious exemption for contraceptive coverage under the Preventive Care package of the Affordable Care Act. This demand for additional exemptions, would have denied millions of American women contraceptive coverage, including students, teachers, nurses, social workers, and other staff (and their families) at religiously-connected or affiliated schools, universities, and hospitals, as well as agencies and institutions like Catholic Charities.

The Catholic Bishops are now leading a backlash against this decision, and women are speaking out. Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of women who may have been denied access to birth control will now have full access under their health insurance plan, with no co-pays or deductibles, beginning in August 2012. Birth control is the number one prescription drug for women ages 18 to 44 years. Right now, the average woman has to pay up to $50 per month for 30 years for birth control. As a result, many women have had to forgo regular use of birth control and half of US pregnancies are unplanned.

Women of all faiths are employed by hospitals and schools that are owned by religious interests, and they should not be denied equal health care coverage. We urge the Obama Administration to continue to stand strong for women’s health care.

Join us by sharing the posts below on Facebook, Twitter (using the hashtag #HERvotes), and other social media.

Part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.

Take Action:

Join the Feminist Majority Foundation in chastising the Washington Post for repeatedly running editorials attacking the Obama administration’s decision.
Join The National Women’s Law Center and Raising Women’s Voices in thanking Kathleen Sebelius for making the right decision.
Join UltraViolet in thanking President Obama and Secretary Sebelius.
Thank the Obama administration directly on WhiteHouse.gov.
Join the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health in telling President Obama you support birth control without co-pays.
Join The National Women’s Law Center in telling your senator to reject extreme legislation.
Join The Coalition of Labor Union Women in telling the Senate that you oppose S.2043.

Read More

Sex, Contraception, Motherhood & The Current Madness – Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Mom’s Rising

The Long History of the War Against Contraception- Ellen Chesler, New Deal 2.0

Five Big Facts on Birth Control Not Nearly Enough Discussed by Men in the Mainstream Media– Erin Matson, NOW

Congressional Members’ Statements on Contraceptive Coverage Rule Not Based in Fact– Mara Gandal-Powers, National Women’s Law Center
Mission Accomplished With Komen: Now It’s Time to Save Birth Control Coverage!– Sammie Moshenberg, National Council of Jewish Women
Protect Women’s Health: Tell Your Senators to Reject Extreme Legislation– Judy Waxman, National Women’s Law Center
I Don’t Use Birth Control, But I Want Access To It– Abigail Collazo, Fem 2.0
This Week’s Attack on Women: Deny Contraceptives! Take Action!!– Carolyn Jacobson and Carol S. Rosenblatt, Coalition of Labor Union Women
Would You Like an Unplanned Pregnancy with that Burrito?– Jen Wang, NARAL’s Blog for Choice
HERvotes: Boehner Ups the Threat Against Contraception Coverage– Ms. Blog
Do Republicans Have Sex?– Silver Ribbon Campaign
Major Mainstream Religious Leaders Support White House on Contraceptive Coverage In Health Care Reform– Religious Institute
The Fight Millennials Never Expected: Birth Control– Sarah, Advocates for Youth
An Unholy Alliance Between the Bishops and the Right-Wing Attack Machine– Amy Allina, Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need, National Women’s Health Network
An Equal & Just World: A Woman’s Right to Control Her Own Reproductive Health– Hannah Sherman, Jewish Women International
Margaret and Helen on the Issues– Margaret and Helen
Religious Freedom in the Crosshairs of Catholic Bishops– Catholics for Choice
Co-Pay for Birth Control? Not Under my Conscience Clause– Bettina Hager, National Women’s Political Caucus
Select Media Coverage: Catholics Supporting Contraceptive Coverage Under the ACA– Complied by Catholics for Choice
Seven Things You (and the Media) Need to Know about Birth Control -Jacqueline M., Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Women Are Watching Blog
Obama’s contraception exemption puts my patients at risk -Dr. Jennifer H. Tang, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health; Letter to the Editor, The Charlotte Observer
Contraception mandate doesn’t force use -Bernice Durbin, Letter to the Editor, USA Today
Why All Employers Should Provide Insurance Coverage for Birth Control -Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health
Delays and Barriers to Accessing BC at Georgetown -Sandra Fluke, Georgetown University Law Students for Reproductive Justice
How to Host a Birth Control Clinic in 3 Easy Steps -Emily T. Wolf, Fordham Law Students for Reproductive Justice
Obama Administration Ensures a Wide Range of Contraceptive Insurance Coverage, Even at Religiously-Affiliated Institutions -Women’s Law Project
Birth Control and Government: The Right of Refusal Should Belong to Women -Nancy K. Kaufman, National Council of Jewish Women
Through the Looking Glass on Contraception Coverage -Debra Ness, National Partnership for Women & Families
For the Sisters -Megan Lieff, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Thank you, Obama, For Standing with ALL Women on Important Health Care Issues -Lacy Langbecker, the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health
Birth Control Matters -Nita Chaudhary and Shaunna Thomas, UltraViolet
Would you let someone make your contraceptive decisions for you? Didn’t think so -Mara Gandal-Powers, National Women’s Law Center
The Highs and Lows on Birth Control Access Coverage -Stephanie Drahan, National Women’s Law Center
Hey Media: It’s about the Health of Women and Families -Leila Abolfazli, National Women’s Law Center
Women of Childbearing Age: Take Your Talents Elsewhere -Jill C. Morrison, National Women’s Law Center
My Health Is Not a Pork Chop -Dania Palanker, National Women’s Law Center
Single 18 year-old female. Desperately seeking affordable and accessible contraception. – Keely Monroe, National Women’s Health Network
NASW Supports HHS Decision on Women’s Rights -National Association of Social Workers
Fight Against the Catholic Attack on Preventative Healthcare for Women -Mallen Urso, National Women’s Political Caucus
The Impact of a Religious Exemption for Birth Control to University Students – Emily T. Wolf, Fordham Law Students for Reproductive Justice
We’re Not Giving Up! – Amy Allina, Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need, National Women’s Health Network
Maryland Women Have a Right to Birth Control– Leni Preston, Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care
Critics Get It Wrong on Contraceptive Coverage– Marcia D. Greenberger, National Women’s Law Center
One More Time…– Jill Morrison, National Women’s Law Center
Breaking News: Access to No-Cost Birth Control Secured– Judy Waxman, National Women’s Law Center
What Difference does a Co-Pay Make? Plenty!– Cindy Pearson, Raising Women’s Voices
The Greatest Advance for Women in a Generation- Jean Silver-Isenstadt, MD, PhD, National Physicians Alliance
#Fail on Birth Control from The Washington Post– Thomas Dollar, NARAL Pro-Choice America
Response to Washington Post Criticism of Contraceptive Coverage– Nancy Keenan, NARAL Pro-Choice America


  1. I noticed that the pre-written letter to the Washington Post contained this line:

    Secretaries, nurses, clerks and social workers who, regardless of their religious beliefs or non-beliefs, want contraceptive access should not be denied this coverage simply because the business that employs them happens to be owned by a religious institution.

    I was really surprised to see the Feminist Majority list nothing but traditional “female” jobs without considering that these institutions may employ female directors, doctors, and managers, as well as any number of other non-“pink collar” jobs.

    Was this characterization of female employees an attempt to soften the protest message, or simply unconscious stereotyping? Either way, it runs counter to what I would have thought the Feminist Majority stands for.

  2. IMHO you’ve got the right anwser!

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