Friend of Reproductive Rights …
Ben Betz, People For the American Way
Congressional Republicans seem to think that workers are the property of their employers!
They want to reverse DC’s reproductive health non-discrimination law — making it so women could be fired for having an abortion or using birth control — because they say that kind of discrimination is a business owner’s “religious freedom!”
First, I ask that you read this whole email, just so you can get a full appreciation for what’s going on here, and how absolutely appalling this example of right-wing extremism is that I’m about to share with you. (And, of course, your voice is also needed in response.)
The Washington, DC City Council recently passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act. The law protects workers from being fired or punished by their employers for things like having an abortion, using contraception, or getting pregnant out of wedlock. Or for having a family member (spouse or dependent) engage in the same.
Congress has the authority to reverse local laws passed by the District of Columbia — which itself is a fundamentally undemocratic arrangement, but that’s a story for another email! — and now Republicans in the House are looking to use this authority to repeal the DC law.
Please speak out against this now (then keep reading)!
This repeal is a threat to every woman, and every family with a woman, in DC. Additionally, the driving force behind this Republican intervention represents an urgent national threat to women, to LGBT people, and to the principle of religious liberty.
That’s because at the same time Republicans in Congress are taking their anti-choice attacks to frightening levels, they are escalating the right-wing trend of hijacking “religious liberty” to justify discrimination.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said that Republicans believe the DC law unconstitutionally violates the religious freedom of employers because it “forces employers to hire and retain individuals whose beliefs regarding reproductive health decisions are different from what the employer advocates.”
Ummm, yeah! That’s the entire point of living in a free country! For a group of people who love to talk about “freedom” as much as they do they do, they really, really don’t get it.
In fact, it seems that Republicans think the definition of “freedom” is exclusively reserved for the freedom of businesses to own their employees and control every aspect of their lives.
Anyone who loves the First Amendment and values true religious freedom should be outraged. As should the people Republicans want to make vulnerable to discrimination.
Thanks for making it through this. If you are as incensed about this as I’d expect, please help by spreading the word after you take action.
— Ben Betz, Online Engagement Director