In voting to block private insurers from using privately paid premiums and co-pays to cover a legal health procedure that women need, opponents of choice are trying to use health reform to take away coverage Americans now have. This amendment breaks the fundamental promise of reform: that Americans will be able to keep the coverage they have. And it ignores women’s basic reproductive health needs.
A fair compromise — worked out by Congresswoman Lois Capps — was in place. It prohibited federal funds from being used to pay for abortion services, but allowed plans to segregate public and private funds so they could pay for these services with private premiums and co-pays. There was no reason for this amendment, except to advance an extreme ideological anti-choice agenda.
We will work tirelessly to convince lawmakers to remove this language, and call on President Obama and leaders in both houses to ensure that it is not in the final bill. Although the legislation contains measures that can improve women’s health, reform that includes this amendment would be a broken promise for women and a tainted victory for the country.”
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 www.NationalPartnership.org.