The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ted Miller, 202.973.3032

Bush Further Taints Legacy by Attacking Birth Control

NARAL Pro-Choice America vows to keep fighting dangerous Bush regulation that could undermine reproductive-health services


Today, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, expressed extreme disappointment over the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) issue of the final Bush administration rule that could undermine women's access to essential health-care services, including birth control.

"President Bush's campaign promise was to unite Americans and he certainly did, as Americans are united in their opposition to this dangerous last-minute rule," Keenan said. "This last-ditch effort to undermine women's health and privacy is a transparent payoff to the right-wing pressure groups. In the 2008 election, voters clearly rejected the use of government authority to advance divisive policies. We look forward to working with the incoming Obama administration to reverse this divisive rule and change the tone of the debate over reproductive rights by protecting women's access to contraception, which actually helps prevent unintended pregnancies."

NARAL Pro-Choice America, which was cited in the original July 15 article in The New York Times about the proposed regulation, sent 2,500 birth-control packs to the HHS to represent the thousands of activists who signed a petition to protest the Bush administration's proposal. The organization also channeled 25,558 comments to a section of the HHS website that asked for public reaction to this proposal. Leading members of the U.S. Senate and House from both sides of the debate over reproductive rights sent letters calling on Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt to abandon the regulation and Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Patty Murray met with Secretary Leavitt to raise concerns about the proposal. In addition, medical organizations, faith-based groups, governors, state attorneys general, state legislators, and even members of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission all have publicly called for the Bush administration to abandon the proposed regulation.

For over 50 years, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America) has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for everybody. Reproductive Freedom for All is powered by its more than 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.