What a difference an election makes. In just over two months in office, President Obama is making good on his promise to change the failed reproductive health care policies of the Bush administration: overturning the global gag rule; helping ensure access to affordable contraception for millions of women, and taking action to rescind the Bush administration's midnight HHS regulation, which was aimed at limiting the rights of patients to receive complete and accurate health care.
With a new tone in Washington, we can finally begin addressing the health care crisis in this country, and take the politics out of women's health.
In these difficult economic times and with more than 45 million Americans currently uninsured, it is critical that we work to increase, not limit, access to health care. When a patient walks into a hospital, pharmacy, or any health care center, she should be confident she will receive complete and accurate health care information and services.
Under the current rule, issued at the last minute by then-President Bush, that is not the case. Insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacies, as well as doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel, are allowed to simply withhold services and information about, for example, contraception and HIV testing and treatment. The rule allows health care providers to deny any basic health care service based on their personal biases.
In order to overturn the Bush administration rule, President Obama issued a new proposal in March that has to undergo a period of public review. Tens of thousands of Planned Parenthood supporters have already submitted comments in favor of President Obama's commonsense fix to this unnecessary midnight regulation that jeopardizes patients' access to complete and accurate health care information and services.
But the opportunity to add your voice and speak out in support of President Obama's reversal of the current dangerous policy ends on Thursday.
With more and more families losing their health insurance and having difficulty accessing health care at all, and with at least one in four teenage girls having a sexually transmitted infection, Bush's HHS rule that limits access to health services is unconscionable. We must all speak up for patients' rights.
Click HERE to add your name to the list of people across America who support reversing Bush's midnight HHS rule.
*Cross-posted on RH Reality Check.