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Learn more about Special Enrollment Periods at or call 1-800-318-2596.


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« Speak out NOW against Trump’s harmful Title X rule | Main | Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Threatens Our Health Care and Our Reproductive Rights »

The escalating attacks on our health care!

SCOTUS pick the latest salvo in Trump’s war on our health care!
He couldn’t get Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), “defund” Planned Parenthood or end abortion. But now Donald Trump is using federal regulatory power and a Supreme Court nominee to wage attacks on reproductive rights and undermine the greatest advances in health coverage in a generation.

The latest salvo came Monday night, when Trump nominated conservative D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. The choice of Kavanaugh fulfills Trump’s promise to his conservative supporters to nominate judges who are likely to vote to overturn or undermine Roe v. Wade. In addition to the threat to abortion, Raising Women’s Voices is paying close attention to what Kavanaugh’s nomination could mean for contraceptive coverage and the future of the ACA.
We’ll have more to say in the weeks ahead, but here are quick summaries of two areas of concern:
Abortion: Kavanaugh dissented to the DC Circuit Court’s decision last fall in Garza v. Hargan, allowing an undocumented immigrant teenager in federal custody to immediately obtain an abortion. Kavanaugh wrote that the teen should have had an “expeditious” transfer to her immigration sponsor before the abortion occurred, claiming such a transfer would be “merely seeking to place the minor in a better place when deciding whether to have an abortion.” However, it would have delayed the abortion, and there are many reasons why a minor may not want an appointed guardian, a stranger, to be involved with such a decision.
Contraception: Kavanaugh has ruled that the contraceptive coverage mandate implementing the ACA’s women’s health amendment infringes on the rights of religious employers. In a 2015 case, Priests for Life vs. HHS, Kavanaugh wrote that the forms and fees required by the Obama administration to exempt a religious organization from providing contraception coverage “substantially burden the religious organization’s exercise of religion.”
Title X rule would jeopardize minors’ patient confidentiality
Our weekly newsletters have been explaining ways the Trump administration’s proposed Title X rule would threaten low-income patients’ access to comprehensive reproductive health information and services by prohibiting referrals for abortionallowing biased counselingenforcing physical separation of abortion services, and prohibiting activities that encourage, promote, or advocate for abortion.
This week, we are highlighting two of the less-noticed but extremely dangerous provisions of the proposed rule, both affecting the patient confidentiality of minors who are seeking reproductive health services at Title X clinics.

The first provision would require family planning providers to try to involve a teenager’s family members in the decision-making about the minor’s reproductive health care. This requirement could escalate existing problems of parental abuse, violence and incest, or subject young people to shame, judgment or even abandonment by their families
Forcing Title X providers to pressure for family participation when minors are seeking reproductive health care will destroy the trust between providers and patients, particularly those who are victims of family abuse or violence. The unfortunate result could be that young people will avoid seeking reproductive health care all together due to mistrust and lack of confidentiality.
The proposed rule would also require that clinics conduct screenings for any teen who presents with an STD, pregnancy or suspected abuse, in order to determine whether there has been victimization of a minor. The provider may then breach patient confidentiality to report cases of suspected child abuse, child molestation, sexual assault, rape, incest, intimate partner violence or human trafficking. Such reporting could inadvertently jeopardize a minor’s safety, and may deter vulnerable young people from seeking care at Title X clinics. 
Trump’s proposed Title X rule would be much #MoreThanAGagRule, particularly for young people needing reproductive health care. CLICK HERE to submit your comments to HHS by July 31 opposing the harmful provisions of the Title X rule.Tell HHS how this rule would compromise the patient-provider relationship and discourage adolescents from seeking much needed care.
Trump slashes funding for ACA navigators, adds new rules
The Trump administration this week also announced further devastating cuts to funding for the navigator agencies that help consumers enroll in ACA health plans. Funding for this fall’s open enrollment period work will be slashed by 90 percent from the 2016 funding levels.
Moreover, navigators that are funded will have to begin telling consumers about their options to purchase short-term or association health plans -- “junk plans” that won’t cover many services, such as maternity care, because they are not governed by ACA rules. Navigators will also be required to inform potential enrollees of their option not to purchase plans that cover abortion services.
Navigators have been key to past efforts to enroll some groups of uninsured consumers, especially those who are low income, have limited English language ability, are unfamiliar with health insurance and/or are distrustful of the health system. The cuts to navigator funding will present new challenges this fall for Raising Women’s Voices and our allies as we work to reach low-income women, women of color, immigrants and LGBTQ people who could enroll in coverage.
Opposing Trump’s immigration policies
Last week, our Denver-based regional coordinator, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), participated in the national #FamiliesBelongTogether day of action to call for an end to policies that separate and detain immigrant families. COLOR recruited activists to attend the Denver Families Belong Together Rally at Civic Center Park, where attendees heard from immigrant right’s activists Jeanette Vizguerra and Nadeen Ibrahim. Pictured from left to right are Mariana Galvez, Leslie Lopez, and COLOR’s Development Manager, Marie Medina.
COLOR has also been issuing calls to action, encouraging people to ask their members of Congress to support legislation to end family separation. Em Alves, COLOR’s Policy and Communications Manager, explains that: “We believe that Immigrant Justice IS Reproductive Justice and that supporting family values means supporting families and their right to raise children in a safe and healthy environment.  We will continue to raise awareness and organize our network around this critical issue.”
Southern RJ Roundtable: Work in the states goes on!
SisterSong: National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective hosted their Southern RJ Roundtable in Atlanta, GA, in June. Many of our regional coordinators were in attendance, including Feminist Women’s Health Center, The Afiya Center, Mississippi in Action, SisterReach, and Women With a Vision.
The Roundtable gathered RJ organizations and supporters at the Motherhouse for engaging discussions on implementing the RJ framework, cross-sector work, deepening regional collaborations, strategic planning, effective collaborations and future visions for the RJ movement. The cross-movement learning labs on environmental justice, economic justice, and faith provided insights on changing the narrative when it comes to cross-sector RJ work.
Speakers included Cherisse Scott, founder & CEO of RWV’s Tennessee regional coordinator,SisterReach, who discussed their Faith & Advocacy toolkits for clergy, lay leaders, advocates, and activists. RWV’s Regional Field Manager, Kalena Murphy, also attended. 


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