December 13, 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 impact of the Affordable Care Act for women's preventive health, restrictions on care at Catholic hospitals and more.
"For women, contraception isn't a matter of ideology, it's a matter of health." -- Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), explaining how women are benefitting from better preventive care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148). The law's preventive care provisions have already helped an estimated 27 million women, including through improved access to contraceptives (MSNBC, 12/4).
"Allowing religious doctrine to prevail over the need for competent emergency care and a woman's right to complete and accurate information about her condition and treatment choices violates medical ethics and existing law." -- A New York Times editorial, criticizing Catholic hospital directives that prohibit abortions and "inevitably collide with a hospital's duty to provide care to pregnant women in medical distress." The editorial cites a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Catholic bishops over alleged substandard care provided to a pregnant woman who sought help at a Catholic hospital in Michigan (New York Times, 12/8).
"We know that rape is not family planning." -- Center for Health and Gender Equity President Serra Sippel, urging President Obama to clarify U.S. policies on foreign aid for abortions ("RegWatch," The Hill, 12/11). To better meet the needs of women in crisis zones, CHANGE and other groups want Obama to issue an executive order affirming that a ban on the use of U.S. funds for abortions used as a family planning method does not prohibit the use of foreign aid for abortions in cases of rape, incest or life endangerment (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/12).
"It is ... a mistake to regulate the private insurance marketplace based on personal or religious beliefs, and doing so opens a dangerous door for denial of access to care." -- A Detroit Free Press editorial, criticizing a Michigan measure that would ban abortion coverage in most health plans in the state (Detroit Free Press, 12/3). Despite calls for lawmakers to put the proposal on the statewide ballot, the state Legislature approved it on Wednesday, using a provision in the state constitution under which initiatives launched through a citizen petition may become law without the governor's signature (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/12).
"As the saying goes, what gets measured gets done." -- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-founder Melinda Gates, in a New York Times op-ed reviewing progress toward international family planning goals set at a London summit last year. Gates also highlighted a new "groundbreaking family planning data-collection project," noting that "[a]nalyzing real-time data is the only way to manage the performance of any initiative or organization" (New York Times, 11/27).