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President Obama Must Stand Strong for Women's Health and Rights in His Second Term
Today, Barack Obama was sworn in to his second term as President of the United States. With battles continuing over the federal budget into the foreseeable future, as well as critical issues both at home and abroad, the President has a lot on his plate.
The global need for sexual and reproductive health care has never been higher, and the groundswell of support among voters last fall shows that now is the time to take action. However, voters sent a message loud and clear last November: the war on women must end. While it may not always seem apparent inside the beltway, President Obama’s reelection demonstrated that there is strong contingent in the United States who support sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Throughout his first term, President Obama and his Administration stood firm in support of women’s health and rights. In April 2011, when the President faced the prospect of the first government shutdown since 1995 over the federal budget, he rejected proposals that would have reinstated the Global Gag Rule or barred funding to Planned Parenthood. It's heartening to see that President Obama was not willing to compromise on women’s health and rights, and I am hopeful that he will continue to defend women’s health and rights in his second term.
The global need for sexual and reproductive health care has never been higher, and the groundswell of support among voters last fall shows that now is the time to take action. At Pathfinder, we have urged the Obama Administration to move forward on key issues in our , including:
- Within the President’s annual budget request, allocate $1 billion for international family planning and reproductive health assistance.
- Endorse full legislative repeal of .
- End the overly broad enforcement of .
- Expand and strengthen HIV and family planning integration by allowing funding from to pay for contraceptive commodities where effective referrals are not feasible.
When accepting the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Action Fund last year, the President said, “For most Americans, protecting women’s health is a mission that stands above politics,” and that “we must continue to send the message loud and clear, that if you truly value families, you shouldn’t play politics with women’s health.” I hope that the President heeds this message and carries it forward in his second term.
Focus Area: Advocacy