Americans For Prosperity: “Doctor Questions”

A new ad from Americans for Prosperity stars a pediatrician who says that “Obamacare has me worried” about her ability to give patients the attention they need and the future of her practice. However, while the conservative group identifies Dr. Mary Ellen Gallagher as a “Family Doctor and Pediatrician,” the ad does not mention that she also has a history of attaching herself to Republican campaigns in Virginia, including Ken Cuccinelli’s bid for governor.

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Women Speak Out PAC: “Barack Obama: Abortion Radical”

An ad from a Susan B. Anthony List super PAC calls President Obama an “abortion radical” because of his votes on several “Born Alive” bills in the Illinois Senate, his opposition to a law to criminalize adults helping minors circumvent parental notification laws as a U.S. senator, and his support for the Affordable Care Act. The ad’s most egregious falsehood is the suggestion that the health care law expanded “tax-subsidized abortions” and pays for sex-selective abortions, even though there is no federal funding for abortions in the law. Bills addressing sex-selective abortions, much like the Illinois iterations of the “Born Alive” measures, are attempts by anti-abortion activists to increase restrictions on legal abortions, while parental notification laws endanger minors in abusive or troubled homes.

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It’s Not Just Abortion: The Far-Reaching Conservative War On Women’s Health

Summary

Attempts to restrict women’s access to legal and safe abortion is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the conservative assault on women’s health care. Conservatives, particularly the increasingly right-wing House Republicans who rode into the majority on a Tea Party wave, have also sought to undermine and defund a variety of what ought to be non-divisive women’s health care services. Over the last year or so, conservatives have ramped up the war on women’s health care, including access to contraceptives, preventive services like cancer screenings, and programs that promote maternal and childhood health.

Title X: Birth Control And Cancer Screenings

House GOP Repeatedly Tried To Zero Out Title X Funding

In The 2011 Spending Bill, House Republicans Tried To Completely Eliminate A Program That Provides Family Planning And Cancer Screenings For Low-Income Women. From the National Women’s Law Center: “The bill to fund – and de-fund – the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, H.R. 1, passed the House on February 19, 2011, on a party-line vote (all but three Republicans voting voted for the bill; all Democrats voting voted against it). […] H.R. 1 eliminates funding for the Title X program, which for more than 40 years has provided family planning services, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and other preventive health care to low-income women in need. Title X-funded health centers serve more than five million low-income women and men each year, and six in 10 women who obtain health care from a family planning center consider it to be their primary source of health care.” [National Women’s Law Center, 2/23/11]

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Contraceptive Coverage: No Bitter Pill For Most Americans

The arguments in favor of the new Health and Human Services (HHS) rule requiring employers to provide health plans that cover contraceptives with no cost-sharing are overwhelming. Yet, as is often the case in matters concerning women’s health and reproductive rights, what ought to be an issue of effective and practical modern public health policy has been reframed by the right as a threat to religious liberty. Despite an exception to the HHS rule allowing religiously affiliated employers to avoid paying premiums that support contraceptives by shifting the responsibility onto insurers, conservatives remain outraged. But the outside groups and politicians who persist in protesting over the issue are at odds with the American public.

The Origins Of The Uproar Over Contraceptive Coverage

The Affordable Care Act Requires New Insurance Plans To Cover Preventive Services For Free. From The New York Times: “Starting this year, insurers will be required under the Affordable Care Act to completely cover such services as annual physicals, childhood vaccinations and dozens of screening tests for everything from high blood pressure to abdominal aortic aneurysms.” [The New York Times, 9/19/11]

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AFP Speaker: ACA Will Lead To “Mandated Abortion”

From Dr. Anni Bukacek’s remarks at an Americans For Prosperity “Tester Truth Tour” rally on June 19:

I’ve given you a handout. I went from 70 slides down to about 20, and I’m not going to go through all of those slides because it would take about 5-15 minutes on each slide. So I’m just going to talk real briefly, if you look at the second slide it gives you some of the contents that I’m just gonna briefly go over, and I’m just gonna—I mean it’s really true they really are going to have access to your bank accounts. Honestly they already have that, but there is going to be more IRS intrusion, there’s going to be more rationing of care and mandated abortion, those kind of things.

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