The “Fortnight” is not right for women

Posted on June 18, 2012

NARAL Pro-Choice America, June 18, 2012

The men featured at the all-male panel attacking birth control are back. Starting Thursday for two weeks, the anti-choice United States Conference on Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is organizing nationwide rallies as part of its “Fortnight for Freedom.”1

An event with a name like that makes me think of a time when women wore corsets, couldn’t vote, and didn’t get much say over their lives. That’s not the kind of future I had in mind when I graduated college and got into politics. And I have never met a woman who wants someone else telling her what kind of future she can have.

There’s no question what the bishops hope to achieve with these rallies: pressure Congress to back down on requiring insurance companies to cover contraception without a copay.

Please tell your member of Congress not to give in to anti-contraception forces and to stand firm in favor of affordable birth control.

If you or someone you care about uses birth control, then the bishops and their political allies are targeting you. They don’t want to make birth control more affordable and they want your boss to have the right to deny you insurance coverage for birth control. Why? Because they want to return to a time before birth control was widely accepted and used.

These bishops and their political allies are out of touch with our values and priorities. Don’t let them get the final say over your access to birth control. Tell Congress not to give in to their demands.

During the “Fortnight for Freedom,” the bishops could send tens if not hundreds of thousands of messages to Congress. But that’s not the only way they are targeting birth control.

  • They already organized more than 100 demonstrations across the country, featuring extreme anti-choice speakers like Rep. Michele Bachmann.2
  • The bishops have championed a flurry of lawsuits challenging the contraceptive-coverage policy from religiously affiliated institutions.3
  • The USCCB’s North Dakota affiliate backed Measure 3, a ballot initiative that, under the guise of religious freedom, would have allowed employers who oppose contraception to deny such coverage to their employees. Fortunately, North Dakota voters rejected Measure 3 by a wide margin last week.

These next two weeks will be critical. We can’t allow the bishops to mobilize without a challenge – but it’s going to take our massive people power to counter their millions of dollars.

Make sure your member of Congress hears from pro-choice and pro-contraception constituents – please send a message today.

Thanks so much for speaking out. If opponents of birth control win, they’ll take women in the wrong direction – backward, not forward.

In solidarity,

Nancy Keenan
President, NARAL Pro-Choice America

1 – “More bishops questioning right turn on social issues,” The Advocate, May 27, 2012
2 – “Nationwide rallies target birth control measure,” Associated Press, June 8, 2012
3 – “Catholics File Suits on Contraceptive Coverage,” The New York Times, May 2, 2012

Posted in: United States