Snap-O Fact #80

Post date: Jan 24, 2012 11:40:1 PM

Snap-O Fact #80

President Obama Protects Women’s Access to Birth Control!

While President Obama has acted to preserve and increase women’s preventative heath care and and their reproductive rights, The President’s GOP opponents are pledging to take these away. Four GOP candidates signed a “Prolife Presidential Pledge” by Personhood USA stating that a fertilized egg is a “Person.” GOP candidates Rick Perry, Rick Santoum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul (the latter appearing by satellite webcast from Washington DC) attended the Personhood USA's forum on January 18, 2012 to discuss birth control, abortion, and the “Personhood Amendments,” being placed on many state ballots even though the Mississippi “Personhood Ballot Amendment” failed by a 58% margin last November because it was so extreme. Mitt Romney didn’t sign the pledge, and didn't show up to the Personhood Forum, but his views on abortion and on “life being beginning at conception” were stated in a Saturday, October 1, 2011 Mike Huckabee FoxNews interview.

What is significant about the Personhood pledge is that any GOP candidate elected to the Presidency would be bound by the pledge to outlaw abortion, with no exceptions, even for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest or in cases where the life of a woman is at stake. Additionally pledge adherents would outlaw contraceptives of any kind. That would include the morning after pill, the IUD, hormonal treatments for menopausal women having hormonal imbalances, and would keep pregnant women having cancer from getting cancer treatment that could parallelly hurt a fetus. In-vitro fertilization would also be banned by adherents of the pledge because embryos not implanted in the uterus could be tossed out. The GOP's “Personhood Pledge” represent a full assult on women’s health and rights and would bring Evangelical Christian beliefs for the first time into the White House and into our national governance. Thanks to this pledge American women would be treated as second class citizens, and the Government would intrude with impunity in women's most intimate and personal health decisions and thus endanger many lives. Imagine what will happen to Woman's Rights under a Rebublican administration.

In August 2011 Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services announced a new rule in the Preventative Health Care package of the Affordable Care Act, that mandated that insurers must provide women with access to contraceptives with no co-pays. Exempted from the rule were employers such as churches whose primary purpose was to inculcate religious beliefs, and who employed individuals who shared those beliefs, from being forced to provide free contraceptives to their female employees. In November, however, Catholic Bishops, anti-women’s health groups and their allies in Congress pressed the Obama Administration to expand the limited religious exemption in the Affordable Care Act to include employees of Catholic hospitals, Catholic universities, and Catholic charities.

On January 20, 2012, President Obama rejected efforts by the Catholic Church, anti-women's health groups and their allies in Congress to cut off access to birth control for millions of women simply because they work at religiously affiliated hospitals or attend religiously affiliated universities, some of which receive public Federal funds, or who might work for religious charities. The January 20, 2012 rule specifies that a religious employer cannot qualify for the exemption if it employs or serves large numbers of people of different faiths, as many Catholic hospitals, universities and social service agencies do. The Obama administration announced that these women and their families will have access to the new benefit that requires health insurance plans to cover birth control with no co-pays. Most insurers will have to comply by Aug. 1, but the administration said it would give these nonprofit church-affiliated employers who based on religious beliefs do not currently currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan an additional year, until Aug. 1, 2013, to comply.


“Battling over Birth Control.” Editorial. The New York Times, 24 November 2011. Web.

Pear, Robert. “Administration Rules Insurers Must Cover Contraceptives; Obama Reaffirms Insurers Must Cover Contraception.” The New York Times, 20 January 2012. Web.

Aizenman, N.C. “Obama Administration Gives Groups More Time to Comply with Birth Control Rule.” The Washington Post, 20 January 2012. Web.

“Presidential Candidates Attend Personhood USA Forum.” Newswire. (sourced from Florida Independent 1/19/12; Rachel Maddow Show 1/18/12; BBC 1/18/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/9/12). Ms.Magazine, 19 January 2012. Web.

Justin Sink, Justin. “GOP Hopefuls Tout Abortion Stances at ‘Personhood’ Forum.” The Hill. 18 January 2012. Web.

Sheppard, Kate. “Why Mississippi's Personhood Measure Failed: Fifty-Eight Percent Of Mississippians Voted Against The Country's Most Radical Anti-Abortion Law.” Mother Jones, 9 November 2011. Web.

Salzman, Jason. “Reporters Should Note that Romney Would Agree with Gingrich Attack Ad (cited regarding Romney’s views on Abortion & Contraception).”, 12 January 2012. Web.

Dave Andrusko, Dave. “Huckabee Interviews Romney on Abortion.” National Right to Life News Today, 4 October 2011. Web. 

Jessica Valenti, “How an Anti-Abortion Push To Redefine ‘Person’ Could Wind Up Hurting Women's Rights.” The Washington Post, 28 October 2011. Web.