Zika (signature needed)

CREDO action
Tell Republican leaders: Stop playing politics with the Zika crisis

Tell Republican leaders:
"Stop playing politics with the health of women and children. Fully fund the Obama administration and Center for Disease Control's plan to fight the Zika virus and ensure that all women have access to the full range of medical services they deserve in the face of this disease — affordable birth control, prenatal care and abortion."

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Dear 5849376,

Stop Playing Politics with the Zika Crisis

It is happening.

The dangerous Zika epidemic is spreading in the United States. There have already been more than 510 cases of Zika in pregnant people living in the United States and at least 15 children have been born with Zika-related neurological damage.1, 2,3 Health officials are now reporting that Zika will likely spread to other Gulf Coast states like Texas and Louisiana.4

In February, the White House and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) asked Congress to fund a $1.9 billion Zika response plan. But instead of taking action and providing the funding, the extreme right-wing Republican leadership in Congress continues to play politics with the health of women and children.

When Congress comes back from recess on September 6, McConnell and Ryan need to get the message loud and clear that it's time to take Zika seriously.

Tell Republican congressional leaders: Stop playing games with the health of women and children, and do what's required to fight the Zika virus. Click here to sign the petition.

You'd think that Republicans, who claim to stand for "family values," would want to move quickly to stop this outbreak in its track. But Republicans are clearly more interested in scoring political points with their base. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed a $1.1 billion dollar package, which not only doubled-down on his party's anti-woman agenda by including contraception restrictions and blocking Planned Parenthood funding, but also promoted Republican efforts to ease pesticide restrictions and undermine clean water rules.5 Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's Zika response was even weaker, with only $622 million allocated to fight the virus.

By failing to pass real legislation to address this crisis, congressional Republicans are opening a new front in their war on women. They have already been waging a relentless campaign to deny women access to reproductive health care across the country — from trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act and its contraceptive mandate, to undermining sex education, to restricting abortion access. In the face of Zika, it's essential that all women have access to up-to-date information, affordable birth control, and abortions, but after years of anti-woman attacks at the state and national level, those services are almost impossible to access, especially for many women of color, women in rural areas, and women living in poverty. It's horrifying to imagine that the states with the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S. are going to be the ones who first have to grapple with the Zika virus.6

Tell Republican congressional leaders: Stop playing games with the health of women and children, and do what's required to fight the Zika virus. Click here to sign the petition.

Beyond the damage already done by their anti-woman policies, Republicans are actively promoting a Zika response that restricts access to contraception and abortion. And their inaction is leaving low-income women to fend for themselves. Because of Zika's presence in Miami Beach, health officials are advising pregnant women to avoid that tourist area, and to consider staying out of Miami-Dade County completely. While that may be an option for pregnant tourists, or residents of Miami-Dade who have the financial privilege to move for the duration of their pregnancies, it's a cruel warning for the majority of women who live or work in Miami-Dade. Republicans' refusal to do what's necessary to stand up for the women, children and families who will be impacted by Zika is craven, dangerous and inappropriate. It's time for them to act.

Tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan: Stop playing games with the health of women and children. Do what's required to fight the Zika virus. Click the link below to sign the petition:

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/Zika_Response?t=7&akid=19496.3291973._xz7-9

Thanks for taking action today,

Heidi Hess, Senior Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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References:

  1. Christine Grimaldi, "Zika Response 'Sits Squarely With Congress' After Administration's Last-Ditch Effort," Rewire, August 12, 2016.
  2. "Outcomes of Pregnancies with Laboratory Evidence of Possible Zika Virus Infection in the United States, 2016," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  3. Amrith Ramkumar, "Zika May Cause Brain Damage in Adults, Too," August 19, 2016.
  4. David Greene, "Health Official Warns Zika Could Spread Across U.S. Gulf Coast," NPR, August 22, 2016.
  5. David Herszenhorn, "Zika Bill Is Blocked by Senate Democrats Upset Over Provisions," June 28, 2016.
  6. Alex Thompson, "Zika is about to hit states with the most restrictive abortion laws in the US, August 9, 2016.

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