Pass the Reproductive Health Act & Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act
What are these bills?
The Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act (CCCA)
The Trump administration is considering a rollback of the Obama era mandate that required most employers to provide birth control at no cost to their employees.
Privately held, religious employers could file for exemption, but the new rule would extend the ability to file for an exemption to any business or university that does not want to provide birth control for “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”
This values the personal beliefs of a few employers over the public health and well being of many of their women employees. It also means that women working for some employers will have to pay for birth control out of pocket, or simply go without altogether. In 2014 of the 67 million U.S. women of reproductive age, more than half were in need of contraceptive services. Failing to provide them is a threat to our public health.
Given this latest attack and the GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, access to affordable birth control is on the line, even in New York. The CCCA would mandate that all state insurers cover any FDA approved birth control, including IUD’s, Plan B, and male contraceptives.
The Reproductive Health Act (RHA)
With reproductive rights under attack federally, it’s necessary that we enact legislation to protect reproductive health in New York state. Many people don’t know that women who need late term abortions due to health issues can’t access them in New York State, and have to travel elsewhere.
The RHA seeks to remedy this in 3 ways:
- It takes abortion out of the penal code and puts into public health law, putting the focus back on women’s health.
- It makes the protections of Roe explicit in our state law, and ensures that abortion is accessible after 24 weeks in cases of non-viability, or where the life or health of the woman is at risk, meaning women would be able to seek treatment in their home state of New York.
- It allows for advanced practice clinicians to administer abortion care within their scope of practice, so women living in rural areas would not have to suffer the undue burden of traveling for medical care.
What’s the status of the bills?
The RHA and CCCA passed the New York State Assembly in January 2017, but they’re both stuck in the Senate.
Majority Leader Sen. John J. Flanagan (R) of the 2nd district, and the head of the Health Committee, Sen. Kemp Hannon (R) of the 6th district are the gatekeepers of the bills, and they’re refusing to bring it to the floor for a vote. Tell the New York State Senate that this is unacceptable. Women’s health matters, and access to safe abortion is a cornerstone of defending our women and girls.
Take Action and Sign a Petition
Sign this Planned Parenthood and NIRH petition to urge a vote on the bill!
Take Action and Call Your Representative
Why you should call your elected officials
Calling your elected officials can seem intimidating, but it’s actually a lot easier than you think! Calling puts the pressure on your representative to act in real time. At the end of the day a representative’s calls are counted up and can be used to influence their vote on an issue. Why? Because representatives know that if they don’t act on the concerns of their constituents, it could impact their ability to get reelected. Calling your representative may not seem like that a big deal, but flooding the phone lines with your concerns is critical to how a democracy works.
Who do I call?
Your NY state senator! Find out your state senator’s number (and who they are) here.
What happens when you call?
Most likely an intern or receptionist will answer the phone. After they say “hello,” you can say:
Hi, my name is ____________ and I’m a constituent in [your zip code]. I do not need a *response. I’m calling because I support both S.2796 (the Reproductive Health Care Act) and S.3668 (The Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act) and I strongly encourage my representative to push for a floor vote on both stalled bills. [If the issue has directly impacted you or those you know, now would be a good time to share a little bit about that.] Thank you for your hard work!
*If you do want a response the person on the phone will take down your contact information and enter you into the response database.
What if I want to say more?
Go for it!
You could also mention that:
The RHA ensures that abortion is safe, legal, and accessible for women by codifying the protections afforded under Roe v. Wade into state law. The CCCA will ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the birth control method they need, at no extra cost– regardless of partisan politics in Washington. With reproductive health rights under assault at the federal level, it’s imperative that we defend and protect women’s access to reproductive health services here in New York. No woman should be denied critical reproductive health care at the expense of politics.