Reproductive rights are under attack and Jesse is going to do everything in her power to protect them – just as she has her entire career.
Reproductive health care must be affordable and accessible for all people. An individual’s right to choose is in jeopardy to an extent not seen for generations. Jesse is grateful to the friends and family in her life who have been open with her about their experiences with the American reproductive health care system, particularly with their personal experiences related to abortion.
Being pro-choice isn’t just a position Jesse holds. It represents work she’s done and progress she’s fought for throughout her career. Fighting for birth control to be covered as preventive care during my time as VP for External Affairs at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts – in the heart of the debate around the Affordable Care Act. Leading like-minded progressive business leaders to fight for the ACCESS Bill and the ROE Act here in the Commonwealth as the President of the Alliance for Business Leadership. Fighting to elect pro-choice women to office up and down the ballot as the head of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus.
Jesse is no stranger to protecting reproductive rights and she intends to fight for them harder than ever when she’s in Congress to ensure we never take a step back.
By Jesse Mermell via Medium.com
“Championing Reproductive Justice”
The bottom line: reproductive rights are under attack, and I’m going to do everything in my power to protect them — just as I have my entire career.
Reproductive health care must be affordable and accessible for all people.
Rights in Jeopardy — Right now
An individual’s right to choose is in jeopardy to an extent not seen for generations. I am grateful to the friends and family in my life who have been open with me about their experiences with the American reproductive health care system, particularly with their personal experiences related to abortion.
Here’s Jesse’s plan:
- Codify Roe in federal law. Congress must pass legislation that both protects the right of a provider to offer services and protects the right of a patient to access the care they need.
- Repeal the Hyde Amendment. Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has been an impediment to the ability of low-income people to access abortion care and has disproportionately impacted people of color. The Hyde Amendment contributes to income inequality and is a prime example of the economic and racial gaps perpetuated by the American health care system. Congress must repeal it immediately.
- Rescue Title X from the Trump Administration, and fully fund it. The Title X family planning program was launched during the Nixon Administration to provide family planning services to low-income Americans, including birth control and screening for sexually transmitted infections or cancer. The Trump Administration has prohibited any Title X funding from being distributed to organizations that provide or make referrals for abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest, or a medical emergency. While Massachusetts has protected the recipients of Title X funds, this isn’t a national solution. A new Democratic president will be able to change these draconian rules but, in the absence of that leadership, Congress must do everything in its power to rescue Title X and restore its status as a program that makes reproductive health care easier for low-income people to access, not harder.
- Keep federal money out of Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Crisis pregnancy centers are fake health centers whose aim is to prevent people considering abortion care from receiving that care. They peddle in lies and misinformation about abortion care. Crisis pregnancy centers do not provide hormonal birth control. In fact, People facing an unintended pregnancy need compassionate, fact-based counseling, not biased counseling, from anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers. In Congress, Jesse will fight to ensure that only licensed medical centers offering the full spectrum of contraceptive services are eligible for Title X funding.
- Fund comprehensive sex education programs. In Congress, Jesse will seek to increase funding of two Obama-era initiatives – the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program – that were created to help young people gain access to medically accurate sex education. And she will always work to ensure that any federal comprehesive sex education program places equity front and center, so that LGBTQ+ youth can learn in environments that are safe, supportive, and with materials that are inclusive of their experiences.
- End the global gag rule. In Congress, Jesse will support the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act, which aims to stop this harmful global gag rule, and she will seek to restore American leadership on free speech and women’s health throughout the world.