We are the Hailey chapter of Solidarity Sundays, a nationwide feminist activist group. We’re writing to express our grave concerns about women’s health and reproductive rights in this country, especially in the wake of the House vote on the AHCA on May 4.
According to that bill, just being a woman is a pre-existing condition — many of the “illnesses” that could result in denial of coverage are gender-specific, including postpartum depression, C-sections, and menstrual irregularities. The AHCA would allow states to opt out of requiring that insurance plans provide “essential care benefits,” such as birth control. Insurance plans that cover abortion would diminish because they would lose federal tax dollars, and pregnant women would likely have to pay much higher premiums for maternity care. This reduction in availability of services is counter-productive as recent studies show that during the Obama administration abortion was at its lowest rate since it was legalized in 1973, with abortion rates declining in nearly every state.
The bill is now in the Senate. We need our senators to craft a health care plan that will protect the health of all women — not put us at a disadvantage.
Erin O’Toole, for the Hailey Idaho Chapter of Solidarity Sundays