Just 17 days to speak up about that last minute Bush regulation which adds more barriers to reproductive health care. This rule, in the name of "conscience" would allow health care providers not just to deny access to care of which they disapprove -such as emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault - but also refuse to give patients referrals or information on how they could get such care.
The Obama administration has proposed to repeal this anti-science, anti-women, anti-family rule, and now they want to hear what we think. Until April 9, they are asking for comments, including: "Information, including specific examples where feasible, supporting or refuting allegations that the December 19, 2008 final rule reduces access to information and health care services, particularly by low-income women; and comment on whether the objectives of the December 19, 2008 final rule might also be accomplished through non-regulatory means, such as outreach and education."
If you want to add your comment, click here to e-mail directly to HHS.
A moving ceremony by Vital Voices in Washington this past week honored women leaders from around the world. Their powerful stories of courage and determination remind us of the difference that one individual can make - in our lives and on behalf of others:
Somaly Mam escaped from a brothel herself and now works to rescue other women and girls from sexual slavery, and provides them education and job training;
Sadiqa Basiri Saleem, of Afghanistan, founded the Oruj Learning Center providing education for more than 2,700 girls and 200 women.
Temituokpe Esisi, of Nigeria, started her own successful fashion company, using the skills she learned in business education, and now employs others;
Chouchou Namegebe Nabintu and Marceline Kongolo-Rice of the Democratic Republic of Congo, spoke movingly of the terrible situation in their country, where rape is being used as an instrument of war.
Vital Voices was first launched in 1997 by then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, an example of her lifelong commitment to recognizing the human rights of women, and working to ensure opportunities for women and girls. After eight years of serving as Honorary Co-Chair of Vital Voices, Hillary stepped down to become Secretary of State. How appropriate that she was honored on this occasion with the Global Trailblazer Award!
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