October 11, 2013 — Our monthly quote round up compiles notable comments from key stakeholders in women's health. In today's edition, we feature quotes on the 37th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, lawsuits against state antiabortion-rights laws and more.
"Thirty-seven years is long enough." -- Kate Stewart of Advocates for Youth, one of several groups involved with the All Above All campaign, which is working to overturn the 37-year-old Hyde Amendment and take proactive steps to expand abortion access. The amendment prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion services, except when a woman's life is in danger or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest (Washington Times, 9/26).
"The country wants Congress to focus on jobs and the economy, not on pushing an extreme agenda against women's access to health care." -- Cecile Richards, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a CNN opinion piece criticizing House leaders for including women's health restrictions in a government spending bill during the ongoing federal budget debate. The provision, which was later dropped, would have undermined women's preventive health benefits in the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) by allowing "employers and insurance companies to refuse to cover women's preventive health care because they have a personal 'moral' objection," she explains (CNN, 10/1).
"Women are not fooled by the hide-and-sneak tactics of [Ohio Gov.] John Kasich (R) and his pals who want to push us back to the 1950s." -- Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, at a rally against antiabortion-rights provisions that are included in Ohio's current budget (Northeast Ohio Media Group, 10/2). This week, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit seeking to block the restrictions (Columbus Dispatch, 10/10).
"In short, we know these incidents aren't reported, yet if you don't report, you're out of luck." -- Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, criticizing the military for creating a "Catch-22" for survivors of military sexual assault. Marcus explains that while the military has acknowledged that most sexual assault cases go unreported, it sometimes uses failure to report an incident as a reason to deny benefits to survivors who need treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (Washington Post, 10/1).
"Any one of these restrictions would have had a devastating impact on women across the state of Texas. Together, they would be catastrophic." -- Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, on a Texas law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and administer medication abortion drugs in person, among other restrictions. CRR and other advocacy groups filed a lawsuit to block some of the provisions from taking effect (Bloomberg, 9/27).
"It's no different from a company paying an employee's salary and (an employee) making decisions about how to spend that money on their own." -- Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney at ACLU, explaining legal arguments in support of federal rules that require most employers to offer contraceptive coverage to their employees. The rules have drawn lawsuits from the owners of private businesses who claim their personal religious beliefs should exempt their companies from the requirement. Both sides are urging the Supreme Court to settle the issue (Politico, 9/20).