Letter to the Editor in New York Times

Today’s New York Times published my letter concerning restrictions like the Stupak Amendment in health care reform:

To the Editor:

Re “False Alarm on Abortion,” by Phillip B. Levine (Op-Ed, Nov. 25):

Mr. Levine dismisses talk about the potential impact of the Stupak amendment as an exaggeration of what would change for women. Eighty-seven percent of employer-based health plans currently provide coverage for abortion care. If the Stupak amendment or equally restrictive language were included in the final version of the health care reform bill, millions of women could risk losing their coverage.

No woman plans to have an abortion. The individual circumstances for this choice are as varied as the women themselves; fetal anomalies, health risks and spousal abuse do not discriminate based on age, income or insurance status.

Likewise, Mr. Levine’s contention that nothing would change for uninsured women or women covered by Medicaid does little to advance his argument. Restrictions on public funding for abortion are one of the biggest barriers to women seeking abortion care. Just because these restrictions are already in place does not mean that further limitations should be accepted.

Meaningful reform of health care cannot take place by sacrificing the well-being of half of the citizens of this country.

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