Becky Myers, LSW, ACSW
Director, External Relations
Dec 3, 2009
Today, staff and members of NASW attended the National Lobby Day and Rally against the Stupak Amendment. NASW was a sponsor and worked to plan and implement the event. The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment to the health care reform legislation sponsored by Bart Stupak (MI-1) and Joe Pitts (PA-16). This “Stupak” amendment would restrict access to abortion procedures for consumers who receive subsidies to buy insurance in a reconfigured health care system. Pro-choice organizations are very concerned the new language threatens the availability of private insurance coverage for comprehensive reproductive health care services. Today these groups joined forces to lobby their members of Congress and rally against this amendment being included in the Senate healthcare reform package and conference legislation.
The rally was led by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, and sponsored by a number of women’s, religious, professional, campus, and related groups in support of reproductive choice. The support from members of Congress was overwhelming with many in attendance including social worker Susan Davis, Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Patty Murray, Rep. Jerry Nadler, Rep. Nita Lowey, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Dianna DeGette, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, and Rep. Donna Edwards. Additional speakers included Ellie Smeal from the Feminist Majority, Willie Parker, the Medical Director with Planned Parenthood of Metro DC, and Rev. Carlton Veazey
The crowd was quite large and included all ages, races, and genders. People came from all over the United States and from 38 different college campuses. The overall message was that we are all in support of healthcare reform and universal access for everyone, but not on the backs of women. Everyone expressed that healthcare reform efforts should be targeted to increase access, not deny women the right to choose, and absolutely not to reverse current law.