Legislation Urges Health Equity for Peace Corps Volunteers
By Jonathan Pearson on Friday, April 26th, 2013
The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is endorsing legislation introduced in the United States Senate that would allow Peace Corps Volunteers to receive the same health services and opportunities as other citizens serving our nation overseas.
Senate Bill 813, introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) would provide a technical fix to the Peace Corps Act, allowing volunteers to receive federal support for abortion services in the narrow circumstances of rape, incest or endangerment to the life of the mother. Peace Corps staff and others serving overseas who receive federal health care currently receive this allowance.
Last year, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, Congress unanimously approved a similar provision to provide such services to military servicewomen, leaving Peace Corps Volunteers virtually alone in being denied this provision.
The following Senators are original co-sponsors of the legislation. They should be thanked (along with Senator Lautenberg) for their leadership: Boxer (D-CA), Gillibrand (D-NY), Murphy (D-CT), Murray (D-WA), Shaheen (D-NH) and Warren (D-MA).
Follow these links to:
(Please Note: If you have a personal experience related to this issue you would like to share, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All messages will be kept confidential)
* * * Take Action Now: This is a SENATE ACTION ONLY * * *
–Follow this link if you need contact information for your Senator(s).
– Leave this basic message: ”I urge Senator ____ to become a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 813, The Peace Corps Equity Act of 2013, to make sure that Peace Corps Volunteers receive equitable and fair health care treatment as other citizens serving our nation overseas.”
– Reach out to five other people you know (they don’t have to be Returned Peace Corps Volunteers) and ask them to take similar action.
Below is a sample letter you can use as a guide, if you plan on sending written communication to your Senator(s). Please personalize your message.
Dear Senator _______,
I am writing to urge you to become a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 813, the Peace Corps Equity Act of 2013.
Last year, as part of the Defense Authorization Act, Congress gave unanimous approval to a provision allowing military servicewomen medical support and services for abortion in the narrow instances of rape, incest, and life endangerment to the mother. This passage left Peace Corps Volunteers standing virtually alone among those citizens serving our nation overseas who are denied this service.
The Lautenberg legislation provides a technical adjustment to the Peace Corps Act to bring our current Peace Corps Volunteers in line with others. I strongly believe that Peace Corps Volunteers – who serve our nation honorably – deserve the same level of respect and support when it comes to all aspects of health care. I trust you share my view, and I hope and expect you will demonstrate support for fairness and equity by becoming an early co-sponsor of S. 813.
Thank you for reading this letter. I look forward to your reply expressing your specific thoughts on this issue.
(Peace Corps Service if Applicable)