FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2009
NARAL Pro-Choice America Statement on Health Reform
Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, issued the following statement regarding new provisions affecting abortion coverage in the Senate health-reform bill.
"Since the health-reform process began, we have fought against anti-choice lawmakers' attempts to use this historic legislation to launch attacks on a woman's right to choose. Like many of our allies in the broader progressive community, we often feel that, as soon as we achieve some progress, another challenge emerges.
"It is outrageous that, two weeks after pro-choice Americans came to Capitol Hill united against the egregious Stupak-Pitts amendment, the Senate has succumbed to including further anti-choice language in its bill. While the Senate bill does not include the Stupak-Pitts provision, this new language is unacceptable. It is inexplicable that a bill seeking to expand health coverage for Americans would impose such great administrative burdens on women who purchase abortion coverage and plans that offer it.
"At every turn, our standard has been consistent and clear: Women should not lose ground in the new health-care system. The bill does include other provisions that will improve women's access to reproductive-health services significantly. However, the language regarding abortion coverage comes at too high a price for reproductive health. Thus, we must oppose this new Nelson language. And NARAL Pro-Choice America withholds support from the overall health-reform legislation until we assess the totality of provisions in the final bill that comes out of a conference committee between the House and Senate.
"This situation is a reminder that, despite our significant pro-choice gains in the last two election cycles, anti-choice lawmakers still outnumber our allies. Until those numbers change, women's reproductive health will continue to be a bargaining chip. We call on members of America's pro-choice majority to channel their anger into action. Join us in working to re-elect those members of Congress who stood with women and defeat anti-choice politicians."