The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Bush:
For almost a year, you have denied the American public an explanation of your position on birth control. On May 26th 2005, a member of the press corps asked your then White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan, whether or not you support the right to birth control. Since then, many of us have written four letters asking you to delineate your position and reporters have repeatedly asked you to explicitly state your support for access to birth control. We have received no response to our letters, and Mr. McClellanYs answers to press inquiries on the subject were ambiguous at best. We are left wondering if you oppose access to birth control.
As noted in an article published by the Washington Post (Plan B Battles Embroil States 2/27/2006), whether a woman can quickly obtain birth control in America increasingly dependson where she lives. Around the country, state legislators are introducing bills that would restrict a woman's access to birth control. We are concerned that those who seek to restrict or eliminate safe, legal abortions are expanding their goals and now also seek to restrict access to emergency contraception and other forms of prescription birth control.
There are 42 million women in America who must use some method of birth control in order to avoid unintended pregnancies- many of them married. These women would like you to be clear that you support their right to contraception.
Because you have evaded previous requests for an explanation of your position on birth control with.unclear responses, we have broken our request into six separate questions:
1. Do you believe that ALL Americans have the right to birth control, including access to a range of contraceptive choices, from condoms to emergency contraception?
2. Do you support insurance coverage for prescription contraceptive drugs and devices?
3. Do you support federal funding for LOCAL birth control clinics?
4. Do you think a woman should be able to obtain emergency contraception at her local pharmacy without a prescription?
5. Do you think pharmacies should be required to fill all legal PRESCRIPTIONS INCLUDING birth control ?
6. More than half of American teenagers have engaged in sex by the time they graduate from high school. Do you support comprehensive sex education in the schools, including teaching about birth control and safe sex, as well as abstinence?
We along with the American public respectfully request answers to these important questions.
Signing the letter sent to the president today were: Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Lois Capps (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Robert Wexler (D-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Barney Frank (D-MA), Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Steve Israel (D-NY), Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), Jim Moran (D-VA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Jay Inslee (D-WA), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Pete Stark (D-CA), Diane Watson (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Hilda Solis (D-CA), Corrine Brown (D-FL), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Julia Carson (D-IN), Bob Filner (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Loretta Sánchez (D-CA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), John Lewis (D-GA) and Tim Bishop (D-NY).