Friday, March 2, 2012
Religious Freedom or an Assault on Women's Healthcare?
We should all be troubled by the attempts to ban insurance coverage for reproductive health care. These bans stop a woman from using insurance to pay for legal medical procedures and medication and take way her ability to make private medical decisions. This hurts both women and families. The bottom line is that banning insurance coverage for reproductive medical care isn’t about who pays, it’s about politicians trying to take away access to contraception.
In Wyoming, HJ7 Resolution - Conscience Rights is being represented as a religious freedom issue. This bill is not about religious freedom, it is about erecting more barriers to women’s reproductive rights. Medical decisions should only be made by women, her family, and her doctor – not by politicians or her employer.
Action needed: Tell the Wyoming Senate that you support women’s access to health care coverage no matter who their employer is.
Real religious freedom gives everyone the right to make personal decisions, including whether and when to use birth control, based on personal beliefs. It does not give one group the right to impose its beliefs on others, or use religion as an excuse to discriminate against women by denying them access to vital medical services.
At the ACLU, we respect and protect religious liberty and so did President Obama, when he exempted churches and other houses of worship from having to provide contraceptive coverage. He has now announced a modification that will enable religiously affiliated institutions to not directly provide coverage either. Again, the measure totally exempts churches and houses of worship and the modification applies to secular public institutions like universities and hospitals that receive taxpayer dollars. Still, groups like the Catholic bishops’ conference and WyWatch are not satisfied. They have tried to paint this as a war on religion instead of what it is: part of the war on women’s reproductive freedom.
Join us in showing the Wyoming legislature that it’s gone too far. Tell the Wyoming Senate that you support women’s access to health care coverage no matter who their employer is.