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PRCH Helps Physicians Change Policy
PRCH provides opportunities for physicians to get involved in local, state, and federal public policy issues. PRCH physicians are the best messengers to provide medically accurate information on reproductive health issues to lawmakers and the public. With PRCH, your voice can be heard!
PRCH supports policies that promote reproductive healthcare for all, including increased access to birth control, emergency contraception, and abortion services, as well as comprehensive sex education. PRCH opposes policies that place politics over science at the expense of the reproductive healthcare of women, men, and teens.
January 3, 2013
President Obama has signed the Department of Defense authorization bill into law, which means that, finally, members of the military will be able to use their health insurance to cover abortions in instances of rape and incest. Today, we celebrate this long-overdue reversal of a policy that hurt rape survivors in the United States military.
PRCH physicians worked with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and our colleague organizations to attach the Shaheen Amendment—which allows the coverage for abortion in cases of rape and incest—to the Defense Department bill.
On December 18, we had great reason to hope that the Shaheen Amendment would become law: the conference committee from the House and Senate charged with the Defense authorization bill decided to let the amendment remain in the legislation. In a press statement, PRCH board chair Douglas Laube, MD, MEd, who served in the U.S. Navy, commented: "Since 1981, female soldiers who have been raped have been denied insurance coverage if they become pregnant and decide to have an abortion. These women are forced to pay in full for that care—a financial burden added to the trauma of sexual assault."
Thank you to the current class of Leadership Training Academy Fellows and the many other PRCH physicians and supporters who have helped PRCH advocate for the Shaheen Amendment and servicewomen's well-being.
December 10, 2012
One year ago, on December 7, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) overruled a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to allow emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step® to be sold over-the-counter, without an age limit. Our physicians were outraged. They know that Plan B is safe for use by women of all ages, but it's only effective when they can access it in a timely manner.
Tell HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: Age requirements create unnecessary hurdles that hurt women's health and reduce their ability to avoid unintended pregnancy.
PRCH joined 11 other medical organizations, representing hundreds of thousands of health care providers, in cosigning a letter to Secretary Sebelius that reads, in part: "We believe that you will find, as our organizations have found, that the best medical evidence supports the availability of this essential medication over-the-counter to all who need it." Read the full letter here.
NPR's Julie Rovner reported on the Plan B age restriction and included quotes from the letter to Secretary Sebelius. Read the story here. CQ HealthBeat (subscription only) also covered the letter from PRCH, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and seven other medical organizations.
Leadership Training Academy Fellow Tracey Wilkinson, MD, MPH, has seen firsthand what happens when women face barriers to accessing emergency contraception: "Plan B is stuck behind the pharmacy counter, leaving anyone who needs it at the mercy of the pharmacy’s limited hours. These delays hurt women.... No one should have to wait for [it]." Read Dr. Wilkinson's story about Sarah, a patient who couldn't get Plan B in time.
In her letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, PRCH Fellow Aisha Mays, MD, wrote about her patients who have been turned away at the drug store "because of the pharmacist's personal beliefs. One of my patients said she felt so embarrassed having to go to multiple pharmacies to request Plan B." Read Dr. Mays' letter here.
PRCH physician Courtney Schreiber, MD, emphasized the need to end Plan B's age requirement during the Philadelphia public radio show Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane. Dr. Schreiber, Moss-Coane, and advance practice nurse Anne Teitelman, PhD, were discussing teens' sexuality and contraception use. Listen.
Take action. Email Secretary Sebelius right now. Urge her to remove the age restriction from Plan B and allow it to be sold on open shelves.
December 5, 2012
Thank you to everyone who emailed their Congress members in support of the Shaheen Amendment, and thank you to our Fellows, who went to the Capitol to advocate for servicewomen's health. We are thrilled that the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act, including the Shaheen Amendment, with a unanimous vote.
Now, it moves on to the House. If you haven't done so already, please take action today and urge your Congress member to lift the military’s ban on coverage for abortion in cases of rape and incest.
Our board chair Douglas Laube, MD, MEd, said: "The military prides itself on top-of-the-line care for the wounded. It’s time for rape survivors to get the same treatment." Our women in uniform dedicate their lives to protecting our country—it's time for the law to protect them. Tell your representative to support servicewomen’s health!
November 26, 2012
If you live in Ohio, join PRCH's Lisa Perriera, MD, MPH, in standing up for Planned Parenthood!
Help defeat legislation that would strip this vital organization of state funding. Thousands of Ohioans depend on Planned Parenthood for affordable health care. Support those women and families today. Ask your state lawmakers to reject the bill targeting Planned Parenthood.
Use the link below to share this page and its list of PRCH's most recent advocacy work.
Help us recognize Eve Espey, MD, MPH, and Willie Parker, MD, MPH, MSc, at the 2013 Rashbaum-Tiller Abortion Provider Awards.
Video: Pre-Roe Doctors
The documentary Voices of Choice features physicians and advocates who witnessed women's suffering before Roe v. Wade. They helped as many women as they could obtain safe abortions.
Who We Are
PRCH is a doctor-led national advocacy organization. We use evidence-based medicine to promote sound reproductive health policies. We believe in reproductive choice for everyone.
Show Your Support
Sign the Abortion Provider's Declaration of Rights. Stand up for patients seeking abortion and those who provide that care.
“I believe women shouldn’t have to explain to governments, religious groups, or the patriarchy at large that they’ve made a decision to deal with the condition of their own bodies.”
Suzanne T. Poppema, MD, from “Why I Provide”