Blog for Choice Day 2009: Hope Edition

This year’s topic: What is your top pro-choice hope for President Obama and/or the new Congress?

I have so many hopes…and it’s almost strange to have more hope than fear.

Of course the first and most urgent is the big clean-up job: rolling back the new HHS regulations permitting providers to “conscientiously” object to the reproductive health needs of their patients. That should be at the top of the administration’s agenda.

But I’m also letting myself hope for:

–Changed international and domestic policies surrounding reproductive health and sexual education. I.e. funding HIV prevention programs that distribute condoms and talk about safe sex, shifting the focus from the non-effective abstinence-only model, and lifting the Global Gag Rule on abortions for providers.

–Passage and signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, currently in the Senate and looking good. Protecting women’s earning potential is important and while it doesn’t relate directly to reproductive rights, it contributes to autonomy and self-sufficiency and should help protect the rights of mothers, who are so frequently the target of disparate treatment in the workplace.

–LGBTQIQ-friendly policies in health care and hopefully at a national statutory level. I’m not hoping for national marriage rights just yet, but I really hope to see some movement on this issue and am looking to the President to be a strong leader and ally.

–Speaking of health care, I’m not really daring to hope for a complete overhaul of our severely screwed up system, but I would like to see some major steps taken towards decreasing the power of insurance companies in dictating U.S. policy and ensuring health care for those most in need, including reproductive health services. Also, it would be really great to see the SCHIP expansion finally passed.

–More funding for reproductive health clinics; legal protections for clinics and doctors who perform abortions. With our current financial state of the nation, this may be too much to ask for, but hey, may as well reach for that brass ring, right? And with things like this breaking news going down, a focus on protecting providers is crucial.

What are you hoping to see from our new leadership in the next four years?