healthcare, War on Women, Women — August 28, 2014 at 11:37 am

Right to Health will educate, engage and empower Michigan advocates for women


This new organization will keep Michiganders informed about legislation that could be hazardous to women’s health.

Did you know that women in Michigan have to buy separate insurance for an abortion in case they’re ever raped or have a pregnancy that endangers their health — and that women who buy individual insurance on the private market can’t purchase that insurance at any price? Or how about pending legislation that would give healthcare providers the right to refuse you medical treatment or services if they have a religious or moral objection to the care you need?

You may know about legislation like this, but plenty of other Michiganders don’t. That’s why a new non-profit organization launched on Thursday. The mission of Right to Health is to inform Michigan’s citizens about laws being passed or even considered that could limit women’s access to necessary, legal medical care.

Michigan Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer is the spokesperson for Right to Health, which will be visiting communities across Michigan to provide education and opportunities for engagement.

Here’s what Whitmer told the Detroit Free Press:

The Legislature is often an extremely dysfunctional place. Sometimes, we feel it’s easier to go around the Legislature than to try and work within it. But we’re trying to make sure that government gets out of health care decisions of women and their children. We’ve got to get organized.

As a non-profit, Right to Health won’t be supporting political activity. What it will do is provide an information hub, create a coalition and spark conversations among Michiganders — giving individuals the facts they need to take action on their own, such as contacting their legislators.

From the Right to Health website:

Right to Health is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public and creating a network of Michiganders interested in women’s access to healthcare.

From denying access to birth control, to interfering with doctors’ scientifically-based practices, preventing women from accessing quality healthcare has serious implications. Right to Health is dedicated to educating the public about and creating a network of people interested in:

  • the importance of quality accessible healthcare for women
  • the right of women to make their own private healthcare decisions
  • the need for healthcare providers to provide women healthcare that is based on best practices
  • There’s absolutely no question that Right to Health is a much-needed presence in Michigan. Legislation chipping away at a woman’s right to choose is a big part of the problem here, but it’s only one facet. Limiting women’s access to abortion poses direct risks to their health, especially under the poorly written Michigan abortion insurance law. What’s more, many Michigan companies are fighting the Obamacare birth control mandate, bolstered by the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, which could restrict women’s access to birth control — medication that’s often used for medical reasons beyond preventing pregnancy. And remember: Preventing unwanted pregnancies reduces abortions.

    The list goes on — and so does the fight to keep legislators out of women’s personal health decisions.

    Stay tuned for details on what’s next from Right to Health. I’ll continue writing about it here, and you can sign up for action alerts or tell your own story at the Right to Health website.

    To get an inside look at what’s behind this initiative, watch this brief video released last year, when the abortion rider insurance law went into effect — sparking the creation of Right to Health: