Over the past few months in the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has worked vigorously to publish a permitting rule that lets almost any employer or university to deny any contraceptive coverage for either students or its employees. In October of 2017, this rule was permitted, but it doesn’t stop there. In January of 2018, HHS again released another proposed rule in which they aim to expand the scope of its enforcement. Mainly, they want religious refusal laws where providers would be able to discriminate against their patients. This means that many doctors or medical providers would be able to not provide medial services to patients because of the doctor’s religious beliefs. Not only would this be a problem for those wanting to receive contraception or an abortion, but it also would allow medical providers to refuse to give any information or referrals to safe abortions. As Toni Van Pelt, President of the National Organization for Women said in a recent article, “A woman’s reproductive choices should be between herself and a licensed health care provider, not Congress, not the President of the United States, not the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and not someone’s religious beliefs.” This quote perfectly sums up what has transpired within our government pertaining to reproductive rights in the past year. With each passing day there is something new that tries to strip the rights of women right from our hands.

There have been pro-choice measures enacted in the year of 2017 and going into 2018 that cover a wide range of important topics, from insurance plans that cover 12 months of contraception at once, as well as certain policies that promote healthy childbearing, along with measures that protect pregnant women in the workplace. Reading those topics, it seems that the majority of the public would want to protect these rights as well, and policy makers know that. Protecting a woman’s right to reproductive healthcare should be inevitable at this point. NARAL Pro Choice America put out a statement for what policies they hope to continue pursuing in 2018 along with why they believe reproductive rights are the choice of a woman. The statement read, “Not only do these policies help protect every woman‘s right to make reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing safe, legal abortion, they allow state governments to showcase their interest in supporting the women and families in their state by blocking federal anti-choice overreach.” What the pro-choice movement clearly wants to reiterate is that reproductive health is and always will be extremely important. They find themselves compelled to do the right thing and fight for those rights that women should always deserve.

Critical healthcare coverage and services for women should not be toyed with. There must be a wide range of opportunities for women and their health in order for us to believe we have our true rights. Hopefully 2018 will be a year of growth for women and their rights towards their own bodies, and not another toy for politicians and the HHS to play with.

Photo by mollyktadams

Photo by mollyktadams

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CC BY-SA 4.0 The Power of Choice by Ronnie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment
  1. NIki 5 months ago

    Ronnie,
    I think this is a great topic and it was so sad to see some of the steps that have been taken to make sure women dont have a chance to get easily accesible contraceptives. This is unacceptable and allows doctors to discriminate based on their own beliefs. I agree with everything that you said in this article and I am excited to see what else you write on the subject.

    https://www.allaboutpopularissues.org/history-of-the-pro-choice-movement-faq.htm

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