All of the health care proposals and bills can do amazing things to reform the current system and allow more individuals to have affordable coverage. The question is, why does this have to occur at the expense of women’s reproductive rights?
Last year, the House passed a health care bill that included the Stupak Amendment, which banned abortion coverage in any plan in the national exchange that has even one policy holder receiving a federal subsidy. Abortion coverage would only be available if a woman purchased a rider on her basic insurance policy.
Following passage of the House bill, the Senate passed a bill that allowed states to decide whether to prohibit abortion coverage in the state insurance exchanges. It also called for insurers to segregate funds for abortion coverage, requiring women to write two separate checks: one for abortion coverage and one for everything else. A recent proposal from the President works from the Senate bill and does not remove the restrictive abortion language.
While health care reform is meant to allow more access and make coverage more affordable, it seems to be denying women from receiving a legal medical procedure unless they pay more for it.
Currently, the White House is holding a Health Care Summit to discuss this and other important issues around health care reform. Please contact your House and Senate members as well as the White House and urge your representatives to ensure that women’s reproductive rights are not infringed on as a result of health care reform.