Health care heroes and the road ahead
As Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said last night, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition in America! With Speaker Pelosi at the helm, the House passed historic health care legislation last night, and many of the women we helped elect played a critical role in ensuring better coverage for American women and families.
EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock sent out a message to our supporters earlier today, thanking our health care heroes and describing the road ahead to protect women's rights. We wanted to share it with you here, too:
From: Stephanie Schriock, EMILY's List President
To: EMILY's List Supporters
Subject: Last night's vote
Dear EMILY's List Community,
Who was the best man for the job last week? A pro-choice Democratic woman.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi overcame enormous obstacles and misleading right-wing attacks to help pass historic health care reform legislation. We're on our way to providing coverage for millions of uninsured Americans -- and we never could have done that without Speaker Pelosi's leadership.
Multiple assaults on women's rights during this debate showed, once again, that our work to elect pro-choice Democratic women could not be more crucial. The political maneuverings of anti-choice forces led by Cong. Bart Stupak would have been soundly defeated with more pro-choice Democratic women serving in Congress. Despite Stupak's claims of victory for anti-choice forces, he did not succeed in passing his initial amendment, which would have meant unprecedented limits on women's reproductive rights. Our women banded together to stop Stupak and the GOP, and with more of them in office, we'll be able to undo the restrictive policies in the current bill and protect women's reproductive freedoms.
As I celebrate all the benefits included in the bill for American women and families, I ask you to join with us to expand EMILY's List so we can defend reproductive freedom by electing women who will fight to make that happen.
But today, we should all take a moment to thank our women for being true health care heroes, digging in their heels time and again to make sure the bill didn't shortchange women -- and, in fact, increased access for women all over the county.
Senator Patty Murray made sure survivors of domestic violence are not penalized as having a "pre-existing condition." Senator Barbara Mikulski fought to stop insurers from charging women more for insurance than men. Cong. Rosa DeLauro worked to include language to protect American families from premium hikes. And Senator Debbie Stabenow fought efforts to strip the bill of maternity coverage.
And so many others -- including Senators Barbara Boxer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswomen Diana DeGette and Louise Slaughter -- led efforts to protect reproductive rights.
Imagine if these women hadn't been there to stand up for us -- and what will happen to our progressive agenda if we lose any of them this November?
A number of women who bravely took a stand on health care and helped move our country forward face tough races this fall. Many of our freshmen are under attack for their votes, including Congresswomen Dina Titus, Mary Jo Kilroy, Betsy Markey, and Suzanne Kosmas. They are being targeted by the right wing, which sees health care reform as an opportunity to oust Democrats in swing seats. Republicans and their special interest allies will do whatever it takes to defeat the pro-choice Democratic women who took enormous risks and displayed incredible courage by voting for this bill.
These women stood up for us. Now it's our turn to stand up for them.
Dina, Mary Jo, Betsy, Suzanne, and many more of our elected women have been under attack since last summer -- and there's no end in sight.
Please support these women today as they prepare for challenging re-election fights. Their opponents will have the full backing of the Republican machine and corporate and right-wing opponents of health care reform. They are counting on us to help them fight back. We must be there for them.
Click here to make a direct and immediate contribution to stand with these women who stood up for us.
We should all take time to celebrate this historic moment and thank Speaker Pelosi for her leadership. We have been part of a great success, and we must ensure our brave women on the front lines remain. And, together, we can help protect the women who led the way for change this year and make sure there are more pro-choice Democratic women where we need them: in office.
Thank you for being a part of our community,