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The Price of Healthcare
Nancy Northup's response to President Obama's Executive Order on abortion restrictions
It seems clear in the light of day that the considerable achievement of healthcare reform — and it is a considerable achievement — has come at high price for the legal and policy landscape on access to abortion services. As a reproductive rights organization, we care deeply about women's access to the full range of reproductive health services and are heartened that the bill will provide millions of women greater access to insurance coverage for contraception, maternity care, and other reproductive health services. It is a major advance that cesarean sections will not be termed a "pre-existing condition" that excludes women from pregnancy care. But the House of Representatives' passage of the Senate health care bill is terrible news for those concerned with access to abortion services. Read more >
We've heard over and over during the healthcare reform debate that not a single penny of federal tax dollars can be used to fund abortions — a procedure that one in three women will get in their lifetimes.
And yet, there are a number of federally funded projects that people do not support when compared to the widespread support for providing women with access to reproductive services.
We asked people across the country why they think Congress's priorities are all wrong when it comes to how tax dollars are spent, and they sent their answers in video rants. See how a few prominent bloggers helped us get the conversation going here, then see how the masses responded to our video request.
The Center for Reproductive Rights released a new television and online advertisement in mid-November calling on pro-choice constituents to contact their senators and demand they not ban abortion coverage that millions of American women already have.
The ad ran on cable networks in the Washington, DC, market and on prominent Internet news sites. The ad was also launched online as part of the Center's campaign at www.NoAbortionBan.org, which also includes a repository of legal and research information on the impact of healthcare reform on abortion services overage. Watch the ad >
Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has been used to ban the federal government from spending money on abortion. Now the Stupak and Nelson amendments are trying to expand Hyde into the private insurance marketplace for the first time ever.
Because of Hyde, women who rely on Medicaid cannot get an abortion in most circumstances — even if her health is jeopardized by her pregnancy — unless she is able to cover the entire cost out-of-pocket. Similar restrictions have been imposed on women who rely on the health benefits provided to federal employees, military personnel and their dependents, women served by the Indian Health Service, Peace Corps volunteers, Medicare enrollees and women in federal prisons.
The members of Congress who want to strip abortion coverage from healthcare always cite the Hyde Amendment in arguing that current law on abortion is fair. The impact of Hyde will actually be hugely expanded when the healthcare bill adds millions more women and families to Medicaid. This sorry status quo isn’t fair at all.