Women should be able to make personal medical decisions without interference from politicians or their bosses. It seems obvious, doesn't it? But more and more, you can't open a newspaper or turn on a television without seeing some lawmaker espousing his plan to limit women's access to reproductive health care. It's apparently open season on women's reproductive needs: everything from birth control and abortion to well-woman visits to maternity care, cancer and STI screenings is up for grabs.
In my 40 years of working on behalf of better opportunities for women and their families, I've never seen anything like it. Women's reproductive health care is under unprecedented attack. Not just in Congress, but across the country. In 2011, state legislators proposed nearly 700 provisions restricting women's reproductive health care. It's outrageous. The breadth of the attacks range from the dangerous to the absurd. For example, in 2011, Arizona made it easier for a boss to fire an employee for using birth control based on the employer's religious or moral beliefs. What about the religious and moral beliefs of the woman and her family? In Missouri, the state legislature recently overruled the governor's veto of a bill that allows any boss or insurer to refuse to cover birth control, abortion, or sterilization for his or her own religious or moral reason. And the list goes on. . . and on. . . and on.
The breadth and scope of the attacks are not widely known, but as women learn more, they are insisting that enough is enough. An exciting new campaign, This Is Personal, is educating young women about the real threats being made to their reproductive health and encouraging them to get involved to keep personal health decisions in their own hands.
Developed by the National Women's Law Center and joined by a wide range of campaign allies, This Is Personal equips women with the facts and resources to act. It's how things should be. Women must have a say in their own reproductive health care.
Decisions about women's reproductive health are personal. And they need to stay that way.