George W. Bush really loves us. He’s working hard with his administration to leave all of us parting gifts. For the environmentalists and vegan clothing advocates, he’s working to water down regulations that protect endangered animals. For parents, caregivers and, well, people who need to take time off to care for themselves, he’s making it harder for us to use the Family and Medical Leave Act.
One of the more reported regulation changes Bush hopes to gift us with is one that “would allow providers, based on their personal biases, to withhold both services and the critical information women need to make fully informed decisions about their health care.” Yes, this is targeted towards anti-choice medical providers who don’t want to give women all the information they need to make choices or even provide them with those choices. From birth control to reproductive technology, the rules can have a huge effect on the women of this country.
It’s Hillary to the rescue!
Despite what critics may say, Senator Clinton has been quite the advocate for women’s reproductive health. And while most of the media and blogosphere has been working overtime pondering whether or not she would be a good secretary of state or if Bill can keep his business clean, no one has said much about why she should stay put in the Senate.
Along with Senator Murray, Clinton has introduced legislation that would block the pending Bush regulations. This citeisn’t the pair’s first time defending women’s reproductive rights.
Clinton and Murray are long-time champions of women’s health; by holding up Andrew von Eschenbach’s confirmation as permanent FDA commissioner, the pair forced the FDA to approve emergency contraception for over-the-counter access.
Amie Newman of RH Reality Check responded to my question if it is best for women if Clinton takes the secretary of state position, “In my opinion, I think we’d be losing someone who has clearly established herself as a leader on sexuality and reproductive health rights issues — not just a willing advocate but a true leader.” Obviously Clinton and Murray are not the only pro-choice senators we have, but they are clearly our pro-choice leaders. Would anyone have Murray’s back if Clinton were to leave to put out fires around the world?
On the other hand, perhaps as secretary of state, Clinton will work with President-elect Obama to restore our funding to the UNFPA, ensure that girls attending school in Afghanistan is a priority to our success in rebuilding, our women troops don’t have to travel from Iraq to New York to obtain abortions, and that women and girls will never be used as an excuse for an unjust war again.
Maybe our loss will be the world’s gain.