I am a little shocked that none of my Sciblings has mentioned this. The Department of Health and Human Services is currently considering rule changes that would, in effect, define contraception as abortion. You can find a text of this proposal here. RH Reality Check has a thorough discussion of the issue. More recently, 28 Democratic senators lead by Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y), have written to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt condemning the action. A complete text of the letter is below the fold. Conspicuously absent was any member of the Republican Party – yet another reason why one should never vote Republican.
Secretary Michael O. Leavitt
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Dear Mr. Secretary:
It has come to our attention that the Department of Health and Human Services may be preparing draft regulations that would create new obstacles for women seeking contraceptive services.
One of the most troubling aspects of the proposed rules is the overly-broad definition of “abortion.” This definition would allow health-care corporations or individuals to classify many common forms of contraception – including the birth control pill, emergency contraception and IUDs – “abortions” and therefore to refuse to provide contraception to women who need it.
As a consequence, these draft regulations could disrupt state laws securing women’s access to birth control. They could jeopardize federal programs like Medicaid and Title X that provide family-planning services to millions of women. They could even undermine state laws that ensure survivors of sexual assault and rape receive emergency contraception in hospital emergency rooms.
We strongly urge you to reconsider these regulations before they are released. We are extremely concerned by this proposal’s potential to affect millions of women’s reproductive health.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Senator Patty Murray
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
Update 1: Mike Dunford at the Questionable Authority has some thoughts on the subject.
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