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11.12.09 - Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has been used to ban the federal government from spending money on abortion. Now, with the House of Representatives' passage of the Senate healthcare
bill and President Obama's Executive Order on abortion restrictions the message to women is clear: Your healthcare comes at a steep price.
The Executive Order lends credibility to the Hyde Amendment, a discriminatory and harmful policy that denies abortion coverage (except in cases of rape, incest or life endangerment) to poor women who rely on Medicaid. The Hyde Amendment was denounced by President Obama himself as a presidential candidate. And rightfully so. Abortion is the only medically necessary procedure excluded from Medicaid coverage. Similar discriminatory restrictions exist for federal employees, Native Americans, women in the military and others dependent of the federal government for their healthcare. These limitations have never been made part of permanent law, and instead have been re-enacted each year in annual appropriations bills.
The punishing provisions of the Nelson Amendment will require individuals who choose a health plan that includes abortion coverage to make two separate payments of insurance premiums, one for abortion coverage and one for everything else. As an analysis from George Washington University experts shows, the restrictions will likely result in insurance companies choosing to drop abortion coverage in Health Insurance Exchanges, and may have a spillover effect to insurance plans not in the Exchanges.
Below are documents detailing the latest ramifications of the healthcare reform bill and archive documents leading up to the passage of the bill.
Healthcare Reform Passes
Resources Leading Up to Healthcare Reform Passage
The Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Leading up to the passage of the healthcare reform bill, Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Representative Joe Pitts (R-PA), working with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, forced a last minute vote by the House on their amendment requiring the purchase of riders for coverage of abortion services in the Health Exchange. The amendment would have resulted in millions of women losing the benefits they already have and force them to buy insurance that does not meet all of their medical needs. Below are factsheets the Center created detailing the dangers of the Stupak-Pitts amendment.
NoAbortionBan.org Campaign Launch
On November 7, the House of Representatives voted 240 -to-194 to approve an amendment offered by Rep. Bart Stupak (D.-Mich.) and other representatives to the healthcare reform package. The amendment was sold as a measure that merely maintains current law prohibiting the use of federal funds to pay for abortion. But the Stupak ban reaches beyond those restrictions and would in effect prohibit millions of women from using their own money to buy private health insurance that covers abortion.
The Center launched the campaign NoAbortionBan.org to highlight the danger's of the Stupak-Pitts amendment and advocate for comprehensive reproductive health coverage in the final health bill.
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