DeGette rolls out women's health Wednesdays

The Colorado Statesman

It’s known for being the middle of the work week, or “hump day,” but Wednesdays just took on a new meaning for members of Congress.

On Wednesday, Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, announced the inaugural “Women’s Health Wednesday,” which will take place every week the House is in session for the remainder of the year.
“Starting today, and continuing for every Wednesday, members of this distinguished body will take to the floor to talk about mammograms, about comprehensive family planning, and yes, even about birth control,” DeGette said as she spoke to the House.

“This is 2012, not the dark ages,” DeGette said. “So it amazes me that the debate we’ve been having lately, both in the halls of this Congress and out in the political scene, is about birth control.”

DeGette went on to list a number of statistics: “99 percent of women have used birth control at some point in their lives, including 98 percent of Catholic women. And 1.5 million women rely on birth control for non-contraceptive purposes to treat a variety of medical conditions.”

“The institute of medicine has determined based upon science that birth control is a fundamental part of women’s preventative care, yet here we are, debating about birth control,” she said.

DeGette concluded, “Mr. Speaker, over the next coming weeks we will have many conversations, and I’m excited to talk about women’s health.”

DeGette is co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She described the initiative in a press release as “an opportunity for members of Congress to take a stand against the unceasing attacks on women’s health care.”

Members of Congress, both male and female, Republican and Democrat, delivered one-minute speeches on the House floor on the importance of contraception coverage and other women’s health issues.

Rep. Suzanna Bonamici, D-Oregon; Rep Russ Carnahan, D-Missouri; Rep. Lois Capps, R-California; Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-California; Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; and others, were among those who joined DeGette in her efforts.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut, spoke about her history of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer while underscoring the medical purposes of contraception.