National Partnership for Women & Families

Abortion Provision in Senate Health Reform Bill 'Outrageous'

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — December 19, 2009 —
“ America urgently needs to reform its broken health system, but the agreement reached in the Senate today on abortion services would be a huge step backward. Requiring people to write two checks a month for their insurance is absurd and designed to be unworkable. There is no question that this so-called compromise creates an unworkable impediment to women’s ability to access reproductive health coverage.

At a time when millions of Americans have no health coverage at all — and health costs are bankrupting families and skyrocketing out of reach for more families and businesses every day — it is appalling that opponents of choice are using reform legislation to advance their extreme agenda.

The Senate reform bill has many badly-needed provisions. It would cover 31 million more people, ban discrimination in coverage based on gender and pre-existing conditions, help contain costs, and put us on track to improve quality and coordination of care. This bill should not be tainted by an outrageous restriction on abortion coverage that undermines the promise of reform and endangers women’s health and lives.

We will work tirelessly to improve the bill before it is signed into law. ”

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at

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