Elected Official Letters

                                                                     

July 31, 2015

Stand Up for Women’s Access to Healthcare Services:

Oppose all Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood

Dear Senator:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 95 undersigned civil and human rights and labor organizations, we urge you to oppose all efforts to defund Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). We strongly condemn the distorted and fraudulent campaign against PPFA, a critical provider of vital health services to low-income women and women of color.

As a result of the false claims based on selectively edited videos by the so-called “Center for Medical Progress” infiltration of PPFA, we expect a number of Senate proposals will be offered on this Monday at 5:30pm to defund the organization. The group behind this fraud has undertaken 10 separate attack campaigns like this over the last eight years. Their real agenda is now clear—they want to defund PPFA and block access to basic health services, particularly for low-income women, women of color, women with disabilities, and young women. This is also an attack on all women and their basic civil and human right to health care.

(Read More)


July 27, 2015

Dear Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner, and House Minority Leader Pelosi,

The undersigned 92 organizations stand with Planned Parenthood Federation of America during this time of vicious political attack. And we stand with the millions who rely on Planned Parenthood for health care. Planned Parenthood has provided compassionate and critical health care to women, men, and young people for over 100 years and is an integral and necessary part of our health care system.

The organization that released heavily edited video did so as part of an extreme and entrenched campaign to end the availability of lawful and safe abortion in this country. This is not the first time that Planned Parenthood has been targeted in an underhanded manner by those who want to take away the right to abortion and the full range of reproductive health services. There have been other heavily edited videos, attempts at both the federal and state levels to take away Planned Parenthood’s funding, and attacks targeting organizations that work with Planned Parenthood (such as the recent outrageous decision to delay a bill establishing a commemorative coin that would raise funds for breast cancer research because one of the beneficiaries would have been Susan G. Komen For the Cure, which funds Planned Parenthood to provide breast cancer screening).

(Read More)


July 14, 2015

Re: Co-Sponsor the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 2654/ S. 1512)

Dear Member of Congress:

As organizations committed to promoting the health and economic security of our nation’s families, we urge you to support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 2654/ S. 1512). This legislation promotes healthy pregnancies and economic security for pregnant women and their families and strengthens the economy.

In the last few decades, there has been a dramatic demographic shift in the workforce. Not only do women now make up almost half of the workforce, but there are more pregnant workers than ever before and they are working later into their pregnancies. The simple reality is that some of these women—especially those in physically demanding jobs—will have a medical need for a temporary job-related accommodation in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Yet, too often, instead of providing a pregnant worker with an accommodation routinely given to other workers, her employer will fire her, depriving her of a paycheck and health insurance at a time when she needs them most. American families and the American economy depend on women’s income: we can’t afford to force pregnant women out of work.

In Young v. United Parcel Service, the Supreme Court recently held that a failure to make accommodations for pregnant workers with medical needs could violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA). This decision, which reaffirmed the purpose of the PDA, is an important victory for pregnant workers and will ensure that fewer women will be forced out of their jobs unnecessarily and denied the minor modifications to job duties, rules or policies that would enable them to continue working.

(Read More)


July 13, 2015

The Honorable Harold Rodgers

Chair

U.S. House Committee on Appropriations

Room H-305, The Capital

Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Nita Lowey

Ranking Member

U.S. House Committee on Appropriations

1016 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey,

We, the undersigned organizations that support the health and rights of immigrant women, write to express our strong opposition to proposals to restrict access to abortion for women in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention. These proposals seek to impose, through a rider on the Homeland Security appropriations bill, a ban on coverage and provision of abortion services for individuals in ICE custody except in cases of rape, incest, and a very narrow definition of life endangerment. This language further chips away at access to abortion by allowing any ICE employee to refuse “to perform or facilitate in any way” any abortion.

Every woman should be able to access the health care she needs, including abortion, and no one should face political interference in their health care decisions, including while a woman is detained. This proposal is a politicized attack on health care access and decision-making for immigrant women.

(Read More)


July 6, 2015

The Honorable Loretta E. Lynch

Attorney General of the United States

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20530

RE: Guidance Regarding Law Enforcement Response to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Dear Attorney General Lynch:

We write to thank the Department of Justice for its commitment to addressing gender discrimination in policing1 and to urge the Department to issue, without delay, much-needed guidance outlining how flawed law enforcement responses to domestic violence and sexual assault can violate federal law and constitute police misconduct. The undersigned include 88 national groups and 98 state and local organizations that are dedicated to advancing civil and human rights, eliminating gender-based violence, and advocating for survivors. In light of the ongoing attention to policing reform, we believe that issuing guidance that addresses the context of domestic violence and sexual assault– which the Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing identified as necessitating a coordinated community and law enforcement response – will ensure that survivors are more fairly treated by the justice system.

(Read More)


June 2015

Coalition Statement Opposing Reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule

We join together as diverse voices from a variety of sectors to oppose any effort to reinstate the harmful global gag rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy. While the Helms Amendment restricts U.S. foreign assistance funding for abortions “as a method of family planning,” the global gag rule goes a step further by preventing foreign organizations using their own funds to provide information, referrals, or services for legal abortion or to advocate for access to abortion services in their own country from receiving U.S. international family planning assistance.

(Read More)


June 24, 2015

Family Planning Coalition

c/o National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association

1627 K St. NW, 12th Floor Washington, DC 20006 Phone: 202-293-3114

 

The Honorable Thad Cochran

Chairman

Senate Appropriations Committee

S-128 The Capitol

Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski

Vice Chairwoman

Senate Appropriations Committee

503 Hart Senate Office Building

 Washington, DC 20510

 

 Dear Chairman Cochran and Vice Chairwoman Mikulski:

The fiscal year (FY) 2016 draft of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) funding bill that was passed by the Senate Appropriations Labor-HHS Subcommittee proposes a significant and harmful cut to the Title X family planning program, the nation’s only dedicated source of family planning funding. The undersigned organizations urge you to oppose this drastic measure and protect the millions of poor and low-income women and men who depend on the Title X program for affordable family planning and reproductive health care services.

(Read More)


June 23, 2015

The Honorable Hal Rogers

Chairman

House Appropriations Committee

H-103, The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Nita M. Lowey

Ranking Member

House Appropriations Committee

1016 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey:

The fiscal year (FY) 2016 draft of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) funding bill that was passed by the House Appropriations Labor-HHS Subcommittee proposes a complete elimination of the Title X family planning program, the nation’s only dedicated source of family planning funding. The undersigned organizations urge you to oppose this drastic measure and protect the millions of poor and low-income women and men who depend on the Title X program for affordable family planning and reproductive health care services.

(Read More)


May 25, 2015

Nothing about us without us!

Statement on the CSW Methods of Work Resolution

As representatives of feminist and women’s organizations and organizations working to promote the full realization of the human rights of women and girls, we express our outrage at the way that we have been excluded from both the negotiation of the political declaration and the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) Methods of Work resolution.

In a context of increasing attacks on the human rights of women and girls and closing space for civil society at all levels, from the national to the global, we had held up the CSW as a place where we could express our views and influence the development of critical policies that affect our lives and futures.

(Read More)


May 13, 2015

Mr. Jason Chaffetz

Chairman

House Oversight & Government Reform

Committee

2236 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Mr. Elijah Cummings

Ranking Member

House Oversight & Government Reform

Committee

2230 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

RE: NCPE Opposes Reauthorization of the D.C. School Voucher Program

Dear Chairman Chaffetz and Ranking Member Cummings:

The 54 undersigned organizations write to voice opposition to the reauthorization of the District of Columbia private school voucher program. We oppose this and all private school voucher programs because public funds should be spent on public schools, not private schools. But the D.C. program, in particular, has proven ineffective and unaccountable to taxpayers. Not only have multiple Department of Education (USED) studies1 concluded that the program has failed to improve educational outcomes for participating students, but two U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports have also identified its repeated management and accountability failures.

(Read More)


May 08, 2015

The Honorable Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Secretary

Department of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington DC, 20201

The Honorable Thomas Perez

Secretary

Department of Labor

200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20210

 

The Honorable Jacob J. Lew

Secretary

Department of the Treasury

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20220

 

 

Dear Secretaries Burwell, Lew, and Perez:

The undersigned organizations committed to protecting and improving women’s health write to you in regards to the

Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) birth control coverage benefit1 We appreciate the Administration’s leadership in implementing

the ACA, and the role it has played in ensuring that women are benefitting from this landmark law. While, thanks to the ACA,

many women now have coverage of birth control without cost-sharing, some health insurance issuers are not in compliance

with this law. This means that the women beneficiaries in these plans continue to face barriers when accessing the birth

control they need.

(Read More)

 


April 29, 2015

Re: Oppose Attempts to Curtail D.C. Civil Rights

Dear Representative:

The undersigned religious, interfaith, and civil liberties organizations that advocate for freedom of religion and belief write to urge you to reject any and all congressional efforts, including resolutions of disapproval, that would prevent two D.C. civil rights bills from taking effect. The D.C. Council unanimously passed both the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 (RHNDAA) and the Human Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (HRAA) to support one basic underlying principle: fairness. The bills help ensure that others are treated fairly—as we all would like to be treated. These bills do not violate religious freedom, but instead protect freedom of conscience of and ensure equal treatment for all students and employees.

We urge you to oppose H J. Res. 43, which seeks to overturn the RHNDAA. The RHNDAA strengthens the District’s existing nondiscrimination protections so that employees in D.C. and their dependents do not face employment discrimination because of their personal reproductive health care decisions.

The RHNDAA would ensure that employees and their families can make their own private health decisions, based on their own consciences and in consultation with their own physicians, without fear of losing their job. Business owners are absolutely entitled to their personal religious beliefs—but they cannot use their beliefs to justify discrimination against their employees.

Similarly, we urge you to oppose H. J. Res. 44, which would repeal the HRAA. The HRAA ensures that all educational institutions in D.C. provide access to school facilities and services for all student clubs equally. Contrary to opponents’ claims, the HRAA does not require religiously affiliated schools to provide LGBT student groups with funding or official recognition. The HRAA simply upholds students’ freedom of conscience by repealing a congressionally imposed exemption to D.C. law that allows religiously affiliated educational institutions to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

(Read More)

 


 

April 23, 2015

Dear Representative,

We, the undersigned medical and public health organizations, stand in strong opposition to the addition of any provision to legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that would interfere in the relationship between students and health care providers by limiting access to information or health care services. On February 26th, 2015, during consideration of H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, a politically motivated amendment was added to the Manager’s Amendment that would do just that.

The amendment was a misguided attempt to ban schoolbased health centers from sharing ageappropriate, medically accurate information about the full range of reproductive health care options, including abortion. Research has shown that access to comprehensive and medically accurate sex education and contraception enables young people to make healthy decisions, ultimately leading to better health outcomes. This helps young people delay having sex, use condoms and contraception when they do become sexually active, and reduces teen pregnancy, birth, and abortion. Young people need – and deserve – accurate, unbiased, and trusted communications with health care professionals.

(Read More)


 

April 20, 2015

Dear Member of Congress:

We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to support the Healthy Families Act, a common sense bill that would allow workers to earn up to seven paid sick days a year to recover from short-term illnesses like the flu, access preventive care, care for a sick family member or seek assistance related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Without paid sick days, workers are forced to make impossible choices when illness strikes: stay home, lose pay and risk their jobs; or go to work sick, risk their health and spread disease to their co-workers and communities. Paid sick days keep families financially secure, workplaces and communities healthy and productive, and businesses and the economy strong.

At least 43 million private sector workers in the United States cannot earn paid sick days to use when they get sick.1 Millions more cannot earn time to care for a sick child or family member.2 Unpaid days off have real consequences. For a family without paid sick days, on average, 3.1 days of pay lost to illness are equivalent to the family’s entire monthly health care budget, and 3.5 days are equivalent to its entire monthly grocery budget.3

( Read More )


 

April 13, 2015

The Honorable Lamar Alexander

Chairman

Senate HELP Committee

428 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Patty Murray

Ranking Member

Senate HELP Committee

428 Dirksen Senate Office Building

 Washington, D.C. 20510

 Re: We Oppose Private School Vouchers in the Every Child Achieves Act

Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray:

The undersigned organizations write to express our strong opposition to the inclusion of any provision in the Every Child Achieves Act that would create or lead to a private school voucher, including language that would make Title I funding portable by allowing the money to follow a child to that child’s public or private school.

Title I Portability Is a Stepping-Stone to Vouchers

We are concerned that Title I portability, even when limited to public schools, is a stepping-stone for an expansion of vouchers for private and religious schools using either federal or state funds, which our organizations vehemently oppose.

Congress adopted Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 1965 to provide federal funding to local school districts and schools that serve large concentrations of students in poverty to address the compounded impact of poverty on student learning. Today’s Title I dollars flow to the states, which then distribute the dollars to school districts based on the number of students in poverty and the percentage of total students in poverty in each district. As a result, school districts and schools within the state receive different allocations of Title I funds. This weighted formula ensures that poorer, smaller, under-resourced districts receive a greater share of Title I funds than more affluent districts. The Title I portability language in this bill would dismantle Title I’s funding formula and the funds would “follow the child.”

(Read More)


December 9, 2014

 

We write as members of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, domestic and sexual violence advocates, faith-based and law enforcement groups, civil, human, and women's rights organizations who represent millions of survivors of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, and their advocates with both requests and reflections following two solid months of media coverage of a number of high profile domestic and sexual violence incidents.

 

(Read More)

 


 

 

 

July 31, 2015

Stand Up for Women’s Access to Health care Services, Oppose all Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood

 

July 27, 2015

The undersigned 92 organizations stand with Planned Parenthood Federation of America during this time of vicious political attack

 

July 14, 2015

Co-Sponsor the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 2654/ S. 1512)

 

July 13, 2015

We, the undersigned organizations that support the health and rights of immigrant women, write to express our strong opposition to proposals to restrict access to abortion for women in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention

 

July 6, 2015

Guidance Regarding Law Enforcement Response to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

 

June, 2015

Coalition Statement Opposing Reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule

 

June 24, 2015

The undersigned organizations urge you to oppose this drastic measure and protect the millions of poor and low-income women and men who depend on the Title X program for affordable family planning and reproductive health care services

 

June 23, 2015

The undersigned organizations urge you to oppose this drastic measure and protect the millions of poor and low-income women and men who depend on the Title X program for affordable family planning and reproductive health care services

 

May 25, 2015

Statement on the CSW Methods of Work Resolution

 

May 13, 2015

NCPE Opposes Reauthorization of the D.C. School Voucher Program

 

May 8, 2015

The undersigned organizations committed to protecting and improving women’s health write to you in regards to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) birth control coverage benefit

 

April 29, 2015

Oppose Attempts to Curtail D.C. Civil Rights

 

April 23, 2015

We, the undersigned medical and public health organizations, stand in strong opposition to the addition of any provision to legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that would interfere in the relationship between students and health care providers by limiting access to information or health care services

 

April 20, 2015

We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to support the Healthy Families Act

 

April 13, 2015

Oppose Private School Vouchers in the Every Child Achieves Act

 

December 9, 2014

We write as members of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence

 

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