1) We need your help in the remaining days to GOTV! There are many opportunities to help out the Victory 2017 campaign: in the Long Branch campaign office, phone banking and canvassing. Please sign up here:
2) Indivisible NJ 4 November Group Member Meeting – Monday Nov. 13, 7-9pm at the Beach Haus, 801 Main St., Belmar NJ.
3) ACA Open Enrollment starts today, Nov. 1 through Dec. 15. Please spread the word to get covered at healthcare.gov
Since 2011 the ACA has required that female contraception must be covered by insurers without a co-pay. This “contraceptive mandate” already gives exemptions to certain organizations that object to birth control for religious reasons, including houses of worship, certain religiously affiliated hospitals and universities, and ‘closely held’ private companies (recall the ‘Hobby Lobby’ Supreme Court case).
On Oct. 6, The Trump administration issued rules making the exemption to the contraceptive mandate available to all employers, allowing business to deny contraceptive coverage to employees based on “sincerely held” religious beliefs or moral convictions. This action will bring physical and financial harm to women and their families. Further, Trump’s order states that contraceptives promote “risky sexual behavior,” an argument that is untrue and an insulting attempt to tell women what they can and cannot do. The Protect Access to Birth Control Act (S. 1985/H.R. 4082) repeals Trump’s rules allowing for religious and moral exemptions to the ACA’s contraceptive mandate. Let’s ask Congressman Smith to cosponsor the bill. (Senators Booker and Menendez have already cosponsored the Senate bill).
Let’s call Congressman Smith’s office in D.C. at 202-225-3765 around 10:00AM
Caller: Hello, I am a constituent of Rep. Smith’s; may I speak with the staffer who handles healthcare?
I’m calling today to ask Rep. Smith to support and cosponsor H.R. 4082, the Protect Access to Birth Control Act, which would repeal Trump’s ruling allowing employers to deny contraceptive coverage mandated by the ACA. Currently, over 55 million women have easier access to birth control with no co-pays through the ACA. As Rep. Smith has spent much of his career advocating for pro-life causes, preventing unintended pregnancies should be a logical goal towards reducing abortions. Removing the ability to plan pregnancies places an incredible financial burden on women and families, and birth control is taken for many other health needs, such as PCOS, and various gynecological conditions. Additionally, the claims that birth control have negative health effects on the young or promote risky behavior are not founded in any science, and research has consistently shown that birth control has been an incredibly positive force in women’s health.
In order to protect the financial and physical well-being of women and families in NJ and across the country, I strongly urge Rep. Smith to vote for H.R. 4082, thank you.
If you have a personal story to relate to this issue, and are comfortable sharing it, please do – our elected officials want to hear how their policies affect our lives!
Sources for more information:
Caller best practices:
Rep. Chris Smith – http://chrissmith.house.gov/contact/
Senator Cory Booker – https://www.booker.senate.gov (scroll to bottom)
Senator Bob Menendez – https://www.menendez.senate.gov/contact
State of NJ reps – http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/districts/municipalities.asp
NJ Governor’s Office – 609-292-6000
Study up on the issues: https://www.grbwomensinitiative.org/resources/
“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” – 1st Amendment to the US Constitution