There’s been a lot of self-congratulatory back-patting around the House’s passing of the Health Reform Bill this past Saturday — but it’s come at a huge price. The Democratic Congress pretty much abandoned women’s reproductive rights by including the last-minute Stupak-Pitts Amendment to appease some religio-conservative members of Congress, including several male conservative Dems. Don’t be fooled: it’s not just simply ensuring that there will be no federal funding for abortion care (which was already in the bill) — it goes much further. According to Reproductive Health Reality Check:
- It effectively bans coverage for most abortions from all public and private health plans in the Exchange (i.e. the reformed health insurance market)
- It includes only extremely narrow exceptions (rape, incest) and excludes cases where the health but not the life of the woman is threatened by the pregnancy, where there are severe fetal abnormalities, etc.
- It allows for a ridiculous and useless abortion rider, which means women would have to buy stand-alone coverage for a completely unexpected event (who plans to have an abortion?!)
- It allows for discrimination against abortion providers
Abortion is a safe and legal medical procedure that’s currently covered by 87 percent of employer plans and that one in three women will go through in their lifetime. This bill, passed with pressure from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (hello, separation of church and state?), will unfairly take away this necessary coverage and financially penalize women. We should be able to get health reform with a public option without throwing women under the bus — and we can do this if we speak up. Please call on Senate Leader Harry Reid to stop this abortion-care ban.
For a lot more important information on how dangerous and destructive this amendment is, check out these resources: