Through regulations and legislation, the Trump administration and the Republican Congressional majority are working hard to take away women's rights to family planning and to basic health care.
For starters, the Trump administration is considering expanding exemptions to employer-insured birth control coverage requirements beyond what the Obama administration mandated. In the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case, the SCOTUS ruled that "closely held" companies could claim religious exemption from providing employees birth control. Under Trump, these exemptions would be expanded so that any employer can file for religious exemption—even large, publicly traded companies.
Legislation to ban access to abortions past 20 weeks has passed the House and is in the Senate Judiciary Committee (which Senator Kennedy is a member). It has been co-sponsored by both Senators Cassidy and Kennedy. The bill would endanger the health of mothers, while also substituting the judgment of legislators for the judgment of mothers and their doctors, when faced with a crisis involving the health of the mother and/or her fetus.
Furthermore, Trump has appointed at least eight individuals to oversee public health programs who have espoused their belief against birth control, mandated pregnancy coverage, or providing women seeking abortions with accurate information.
Finally, Trump has also expanded the Global Gag Rule; undermined Title X, the nation's family planning program; advocated defunding Planned Parenthood by cutting off its Medicaid funding; ended funding to the UN Population Fund; eliminated protections for sexual harassment and assault survivors in schools; and appointed anti-abortion Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
WHO TO CALL:
Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy
Senator Bill Cassidy - DC Office: (202) 224-5824; Metairie office: (504) 838-0130; Monroe Office: (318) 324-2111; Lake Charles Office: (337) 493-5398; Alexandria Office: (318) 448-7176
Senator John Kennedy - DC office: (202) 224-4623; New Orleans Office: (504) 581-6190; Lafayette Office: (337) 269-5980; Monroe Office: (318) 361-1489; Alexandria Office: (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge Office: (225) 926-8033; Shreveport Office: (318) 670-5192
Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent. Be concise – the office will get through more calls that way. Be polite and don't argue with the staffer – they don't set policy. If you get a voicemail, then leave a message. And if you get a busy signal – call back later!
Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I'm calling to urge the Senator to respect the rights of women by refusing to vote for any bill which reduces access to contraception or family planning services. Please withdraw your support for Senate Bill 1922, the 20-week abortion ban, and please refuse to confirm appointees who oppose contraception or maternity care. Please respect the women you represent by allowing them the agency to make their own family planning and health decisions.
[IF KENNEDY: Feel free to thank him for voting Tuesday night against the repeal of the arbitration clause, which makes it harder for consumers to bring class action lawsuits against banks and other financial services firms. We called about this bill several times, and Kennedy was one of only two Republican senators to vote against the bill. Please thank him for listening to our concerns.]
Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.
This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.