Women’s Health Advocates Rally Against Birth Control Restrictions

CHICAGO (CBS) — Pro-choice advocates packed a Loop auditorium Friday to push back against restrictions to the availability of birth control.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, a crowd of about 150 people – mostly women – came to First United Methodist Church, 77 W. Washington St. They expressed outrage over the ongoing debate over whether religiously-affiliated employers are required to contraception.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

Carole Brite, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Illinois, said she is insulted by politicians towing the line of Catholic bishops that birth control is not preventative health care.

“Women should not have to sacrifice their health because of the opinions of a small group of men who are far away from the mainstream of America,” Brite said.

A number of the speakers, including Democratic U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) cited the statistic that 98 percent of women have used birth control at some point, counter to church teachings.

The politicians urged pro-choice advocates to show their support by sending postcards to their representatives in Congress, and at the voting booth.

A proposed federal rule had called for requiring all employers to pay for “all FDA-approved forms of contraception,” including faith-based religious-based hospitals, schools and charities that employ people of other faiths. The rule never applied to churches or other explicitly religious-affiliated employers.

After complaints that the rule violated “freedom of religion,” the White House Obama altered the plan to accommodate religious groups. Women would still get free contraception coverage, but religious organizations that object to coverage, though, won’t have to offer or pay for it. The cost will be passed on directly to an employee’s insurance company.

Many religious leaders say that is still not enough, including Francis Cardinal George. He says the order requiring free birth control should be done away with altogether.

George says the First Amendment is in clear violation here, by not allowing the most fundamental freedom of religious liberty.

  • Toonces

    lol there has been nothing in history as detrimental to women’s health as the Pill. It sickens every woman that takes it in one way or another….heart disease, obesity, fertility problems (when they want to have a child). Eat up those artificial hormones, idiettes; So good for you! Best of all, the guys get the cream without buying the cow. The Pill was obviously invested by a MAN. DUH!

  • Army Vet,VN

    Hey you obamanites butt out of the Catholic Church beliefs,whether you believe in them or not,butt out you brainwashed commies.

  • Terry R. Kappel

    I feel the characterization of the tone of the speakers and the crowd as being “outraged” and being “Insulted” projects an image of a meeting which was emotional and angry: which are typical means of marginalizing women as being illigitimate because of feminine emotional tendencies..
    As one of the men who attended, I found the event to be substanative, and thoroughly informative.
    A speaker from Illinois’ ACLU offered case precidents, health care experts offered medical perspective, testimonials were offered by individuals who explained how birth control was important for them to allow control of their family planning, as well as health concerns which the hormones are effective in combatting.
    As well, background and perspective was offered on the recent wave of legislation to scale back reproductive rights for women.
    Not once did I see a emotional “Outrageous” desplay. The arguments were reasoned, thoughful, and enthusiastically supported by the crowd which over flowed the room, and into the outer hallway.
    Stereo typical characterizations of women who are standing up for their rights, and of men who recognize that birfh control is a preventive care issue which affects them as well as the women they care about.

  • Afro

    The tax payers should buy my r u b b e r s and pay for Vasectomies too.

    • Terry R. Kappel

      Birth Control is preventive care. It is also used for woem who have many health problems including cervical cancer. Perhaps the three of you, could have benefited from atttending the forum. You obviously don’t know a thing about women’s health care. Or, is it that it doesn’t matter to you?
      What abotu preventing the spread of STDs? Probably don’t care about that?

      • Afro

        R u b b e r s do that and I do not believe a BC pill treats cervical cancer

  • http://www.ladynewsx.com/2012/02/25/chicago-women-lawmakers-rally-in-support-of-birth-control-access/ Chicago Women, Lawmakers Rally In Support Of Birth Control Access – - LadyNewsX - Women News AggregatorLadyNewsX – Women News Aggregator

    […] About 150 people joined the demonstration at First United Methodist Church, including U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley and Jan Schakowsky, who were both guest speakers, CBS Chicago reports. […]

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