House Assaults Women’s Access to Reproductive Health Care

Yesterday, I released the following statement in response to the Stupak/Pitts Amendment:

This weekend, women’s access to reproductive health care was dealt a devastating blow when the House of Representatives passed an extreme anti-abortion amendment to health care reform.

It is inexcusable that anti-choice representatives are using this important opportunity to reform our country’s health care system to further restrict women’s access to reproductive health care, including abortion care.

The Stupak/Pitts Amendment would not only prohibit coverage for abortion in the new public option, but would take away women’s ability to purchase coverage for abortion care with their own funds in the health insurance Exchange. This would result in millions of women losing health care benefits they have today, for while most typical employment-based health plans currently cover abortion, those plans would likely have to drop abortion care in order to compete in the insurance exchanges. In order for a woman to obtain coverage for abortion care, she would have to purchase a single-service rider. This system is extremely unworkable, because women do not plan to have a complicated pregnancy or need to obtain abortion care, and would therefore not purchase the rider.

Abortion care is basic health care for women and should not be treated differently from any other health service. It is unconscionable that women’s reproductive health is being used as a pawn in the health care reform debate. NAF calls on the Senate to stop these attacks on women’s health and ensure that women can access the comprehensive care they need, including abortion care.

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