July 19, 2008

Clinton Plans to Fight Bush Abortion Proposal

On Friday, Sen. Hilary Clinton called a Bush administration plan to define many contraceptive methods as abortion a "gratuitous, unnecessary insult" to women.

Clinton joined family planning organizations to condemn the plan that would define contraception like intrauterine devices, and birth control pills as abortion.

The plan would eliminate federal funds going to states and hospitals where physicians offer legal contraception and abortion.

"We will not put up with this radical, ideological agenda to turn the clock back on women's rights," Clinton said. "Women would watch their contraceptive coverage disappear overnight,"

The new plan's aim is to counter recent state laws that ensure women can get contraception when they want it, and would also protect the rights of physicians to refuse to provide contraception.

Clinton has written a letter with Washington Senator Patty Murray asking Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt to reject and reconsider the proposed rules.

The New York Senator also encouraged people to go to www.hilpac.com to sign a petition against the proposal.

"Our first effort is to get the Bush administration to rescind the regulation, not issue in its current form," she said. "If that doesn't succeed, we're going to be looking for legislative steps that we can take to prevent this regulation from ever going into effect."

The plan carries a broad definition of abortion as any procedure, including prescription drugs, "that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation."

Contraception happens when sperm and egg meet in the Fallopian tubes. From there it takes three to four days before the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. Many birth control methods such as IUDs and birth control pills interfere with this juncture.

According to Anne Davis of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, "If enacted, these rules will make birth control out of reach for some women. That's a sure way to guarantee more unintended pregnancies and more abortions."