Today, Senator Mitch McConnell filed cloture for S. 109, an extreme and harmful anti-abortion bill, giving it a procedural vote without even a committee hearing.

S. 109 would prevent millions of women in America from obtaining private insurance coverage for abortion care. It would also permanently restrict federal dollars from covering abortion care for women who access health care through federal government programs like TRICARE, Medicaid, and Indian Health Services. It would additionally prohibit the District of Columbia from using its own locally raised revenue to help low-income women obtain the abortion care they need.

 

Statement by The Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, Interim President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF):

“The consideration of S. 109 is politics at its worst. Instead of jeopardizing women’s health, it’s time for Congress to lift the restrictions on abortion coverage so women can make decisions based on their individual circumstances and health care needs. This bill is just another reminder that while Roe may be the law of the land, it doesn’t guarantee women’s access to abortion care. Senators must vote no on S. 109.

If Senator McConnell is able to push through an anti-abortion bill to score political points, he surely should be able to schedule a vote on the House of Representatives bills to reopen the government. I encourage Senator McConnell to focus his time and efforts on ensuring that federal workers are paid for their work rather than on denying people the health care they need.

Today, we received a desperate call from a federal employee whose health insurance cannot cover abortion care due to the Hyde Amendment that S. 109 seeks to make permanent. While affording her procedure would already be difficult for her because of this, Trump and McConnell’s government shutdown has made it financially impossible for her. Fortunately, we will be able to help her.”

The NAF Hotline hears from nearly 5,000 women each week who have already been harmed by the unjust policies that would be spread further by S. 109. These women are desperate to make the best decisions for themselves and their families, but frequently cannot—because of law, because of circumstances, and because of the decisions of politicians who think they know better. Many of these women are forced to delay accessing the abortion care they need due to existing funding bans.

 

BACKGROUND ON IMPACT OF ABORTION BANS:

FACT: One in four women with Medicaid coverage subject to the Hyde amendment who seek an abortion are unable to obtain one due to the lack of coverage.

FACT: 14.5 million reproductive-age women are enrolled in Medicaid with millions more in federal programs like Indian Health Services, TRICARE, and federal employees.

FACT: Women denied a wanted abortion and forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term are four times more likely to live below the Federal Poverty Level.

FACT: Women denied a wanted abortion are more likely to stay tied to abusive partners.

FACT: Existing children of women who were denied a wanted abortion are more likely to live in a household that does not have enough money to cover basic needs like food, housing, and transportation than existing children of women able to obtain the abortion care they needed.

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The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers. Our members include individuals, private and non-profit clinics, Planned Parenthood affiliates, women’s health centers, physicians’ offices, and hospitals who together care for approximately half the women who choose abortion in the U.S. and Canada each year. Our members also include public hospitals and both public and private clinics in Mexico City and private clinics in Colombia. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care, which promotes health and justice for women.

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