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Proposed Bush Rule Undermines Women's Access to Health Care

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Picture this. While everyone's attention is focused on the upcoming presidential election, President Bush tries to slip in a new regulation that undermines women's access to health care. And before you know it, millions of women can't get the basic health care they need.

Unfortunately, the New York Times reveals that the Bush administration is considering a new Health and Human Services rule that would compromise women's access to health care and information.

This proposed rule will put women's access to birth control and the information they need to make health care decisions at risk. It radically redefines abortion to include some of the most common and effective methods of birth control. As a result, women's ability to manage their own health care is at risk of being compromised by politics and ideology. And it will limit the rights of patients to receive complete and accurate health information and services.

This rule also will leave women unprotected in an emergency. Women will be rolling the dice when they walk into a hospital or clinic about the type of care the will receive. A rape victim going to an ER could be refused emergency contraception because the attending doctor doesn't believe in it. Health care clinics could refuse to provide contraceptive services.

This is a far-reaching rule for two reasons. One, 98 percent of women use some form of contraception during their lifetime. Two, this would affect any health care entity that receives federal funding, directly or indirectly, from HHS.

Access to contraception is basic health care and smart public policy. That's why Planned Parenthood is and will continue to be a vigorous defender of the fundamental health care rights of women and men. One in four women in America has visited a Planned Parenthood clinic for health care services. And we will continue to stand up for their health care rights.

In its waning days, the Bush administration has shown it will stop at nothing to attack women's health care. As one of the leading women's healthcare providers and advocates, Planned Parenthood will not stand by and watch the Bush administration deny quality, affordable healthcare and accurate information to millions of women.

Visit Planned Parenthood's website for more information.

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