Senator Maria Cantwell: Champion for Reproductive Justice


Emailed to Senator Maria Cantwell:

 

Dear Senator Cantwell,

Thank you for being a champion for
reproductive justice. In a just world, a woman would never make a
choice about when, where or how to bear children because of what is
covered by her insurance. She would not give birth to an unwanted child
because an abortion costs more than she can afford. And she would not
accept unnecessary routine interventions in a hospital that are paid
for by her Medicaid when she would have preferred a cheaper physiologic
birth with a midwife. You have shown time and again that you understand
these issues, and in this you truly represent Washington state, where
poor women can access Medicaid to pay for care with any licensed
provider she chooses to see for her pregnancy, be it an abortion
provider or a home-birth midwife. The language you championed in the
Senate Finance Committee’s healthcare bill which would require Medicaid
to reimburse any licensed care provider working in a free-standing
birth center is a step in the right direction for our nation, and I
cannot thank you enough.

As you know, the House of
Representatives has shown significantly less respect for women’s health
and reproductive justice. The Stupak abortion coverage ban is bad
policy. Conservatives tout the importance of "patient choice" as an
argument against any healthcare reform, but then they single out this
one legal medical procedure and restrict women’s abiltiy to choose to
access that service. The Stupak ban does not maintain the status quo in
regard to aboriton access. Rather, it would deny a woman the ability to
purchase insurance covering abortion, even when that coverage will be
provided soley from funds taken from women’s own premiums rather than
federal dollars. The Senate is our only hope for ensuring that this
affront to women’s health and self-determination does not become law. I know that
you will fight as hard against Stupak-like language in the Senate
healthcare bill as you always do for women and families.

In
August, I organized a meeting between a group of moms, dads and
midwives and one of your staff members. We spoke about the importance
of a real pulic option in healthcare reform, the specific challenges
faced by women and young people in accessing comprehensive healthcare
benefits, and the importance of midwifery care as part of a full range
of reproductive health choices. Thank you for listening. Thank you for
fighting for us.

God bless you,

Alison Cole Duren-Sutherland

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