Women's Rights are in Jeopardy

Black women's health imparative:

Women's Rights are in Jeopardy

By: Imperative Staff

Congress is moving quickly to pass a final health reform bill and in the next few days, policy-makers will be shifting their focus to abortion coverage.

While the Imperative supports this historic effort to ensure affordable health care coverage for all Americans, we strongly condemn the passage of the Stupak amendment in the House-passed bill and Nelson amendment in the Senate-passed bill.

We need to take action now to ensure that millions of women do not lose access to critical reproductive health care services.

The Stupak and the Nelson amendments stigmatize women's access to abortion care and undermine the guiding principle of reform-that Americans will not lose the coverage they already have. If allowed in the final bill, the Stupak-Nelson amendments will have especially dangerous consequences on Black women's ability to access reproductive health services

Click here to view the Imperative's president and CEO, Eleanor Hinton Hoytt's, call to action.

What's at Stake

The Nelson amendment forces women to write two separate checks, one for abortion care and one for other health care services, while requiring insurance companies to adopt complicated and unworkable administrative procedures to segregate public and private funds.

The Stupak amendment is even worse. It prohibits insurance companies from offering abortion coverage in any of the plans in the new health insurance exchange-even when women use their own private funds.

By essentially banning access to abortion services in the new health exchange, both of these measures go way beyond restrictions currently in law. Women should have the opportunity to choose the health coverage that reflects their own values and medical needs. If Stupak and Nelson win, Black women lose.

What You Can Do

  1. Call your members of Congress and them that the final health care bill should not include any language that restricts abortion. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202)224-3121 and ask for your senators' and/or representatives' office.
  2. Download the Imperative's Health Care Reform Toolkit to find talking points, a sample opinion editorial (op-ed) and letter to the editor to submit to your local newspaper. Click here to download the toolkit. Contact Judy Lubin at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for assistance with writing or submitting an op-ed or letter.
  3. Let us know if you've taken action. Complete our Grassroots Action Report form and send it to imperative@blackwomenshealth. Click here to download the form.

We would also like to hear from you if you're interested in being a part of the Imperative's newly formed Rapid Response Advocacy team that will be mobilized in the future to make calls to and/or meet with members of Congress

We appreciate your continued support of our efforts to ensure that Black women have access to the care that we need.