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Over 600 Physicians, including 70 Catholics, Speak Out in Favor of HHS Contraception Ruling


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Protecting the health of women cited overwhelmingly as key reason

WASHINGTON, DC – Over 600 physicians and medical students from 49 states signed a letter to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and President Obama in the last 24 hours urging them to maintain the recent HHS contraception rule that will enable women to access contraception through their insurers without copays. Concurring with the recommendations of the nationally recognized Institute of Medicine and other provider groups, these physicians cited the health and well-being of women as their primary concern.

“As physicians, we see everyday how important contraception access is to women,” said Dr. Alice Chen, Executive Director of Doctors for America which organized the petition. “As health care providers, our highest concern is the health of our patients.”

The physicians also emphasized that 58% of women between the ages of 15-44 who use oral contraceptive pills have medical indications other than birth control.

“Contraceptive pills have many uses besides contraception” said Dr. Rashmi Murthy, a primary care doctor in Miami, Florida. “They are also utilized for menstrual irregularities and menstrual pain, for example. This ruling will NOT force any patient or doctor to use contraception. It is about providing women with their rightful access to important health care. This is very important to me as a physician.”

In response to such sentiments, Doctors for America created a widely-viewed infographic to help raise awareness of the diverse medical indications for oral contraception use.

58% of women use contraception for non-contraceptive reasons

"Before easily available contraception, abortion was the only option to avoid an unwanted pregnancy for sexually active married and unmarried women,” recalls a retired physician in Florida. “I remember the young women who died with septic abortions. Even a combination of very strong antibiotics saved only a few. In the hospital, I watched and held the hands of dying young women as…they slipped into sepsis and died. They usually died before sunrise of the day after admission. I felt guilty for my own fatigue as I sat with them. Do not replace available care with platitudes. There are many ways to save a life. Protect women's access to contraception!"

View the petition letter: http://bit.ly/DoctorsContraceptionPetition

The physician signatories as of 12pm EST 2/8/2012: http://bit.ly/DoctorsSupportContraception

View the infographic: http://bit.ly/xbnsXn

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