Women's health experts and advocates joined Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, at two listening sessions this week to discuss recent attacks on women's health and access to contraceptive care. Larsen hosted the listening sessions in Everett and Bellingham to hear directly from Northwest Washington residents about how the national debate is impacting his constituents.
"It's amazing to me that we are still talking about this issue in 2012," Larsen said. "The American people want Congress to focus on improving the economy and creating jobs, not taking away vital care for women. I thank the women and men who met with me in Everett and Bellingham and shared their personal stories. I stand with them. This is about women being able to make their own health choices. I will continue to oppose efforts in Congress to impede that right."
"While watching the erosion of women's reproductive rights across the country has made me sad and angry, I have hope when people like U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen listen to our concerns and voice their support," said doctoral student and Planned Parenthood supporter Rebecca McGovney-Ingram, who attended the Everett meeting.
Larsen asked attendees at the Bellingham event how the recent attacks on women's contraception make them feel. Victoria Dahlgren, a former board member of Mount Baker Planned Parenthood, said, "Oppressed. It makes me feel oppressed. We had resolved this issue when I was young. I'm past childbearing age and here we are fighting it again."
Dana Laurent, Political Director of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest said, "At a time when we need Congress to be focused on putting people back to work, opponents of women's health in Washington DC are waging the worst attack on women that we've seen in a generation. Congressman Larsen clearly understands that we need to create jobs, not take basic preventive health care, like birth control and cancer screenings, away from millions of American women."