Center Strongly Urges Conference Committee to Protect Women’s Abortion Coverage

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(PRESS RELEASE) Today, the Senate passed a healthcare bill including anti-abortion measures that put burdens on women using their own money for abortion coverage, with the likely effect of making such policies less available. Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights issued this in response:

“As we enter the final stretch of the healthcare debate, we strongly urge the members of the conference committee to aggressively defend once and for all the rights and the health of the women who put them in office. Sadly, the health bills in both the House and Senate do neither. Instead, they threaten to strip millions of women of their abortion coverage and stigmatize a constitutionally protected medical procedure that one in three women will have in their lifetime.

“The House legislation bans women who get partial government subsidies from buying abortion coverage despite also using their own money to pay premiums. The Senate legislation piles on administrative requirements that one of the leading health policy experts, George Washington University Professor Sara Rosenbaum, has said will likely ‘chill’ insurers from providing abortion coverage at all. These measures, both punitive and unnecessary, go too far.

“It is unacceptable that the healthcare reform has been used to advance an anti-choice agenda.  Healthcare reform is not an abortion bill. It should be about expanded coverage and affordability for all Americans, including women.  Our elected officials have one last chance in this battle to show their support for women across this country. We demand that they do so.”