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March 3, 2010

NARAL Pro-Choice America Statement on Health Reform

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, issued the following statement regarding health-care reform legislation.

"President Obama's speech today reaffirmed the urgent need to make health care more accessible and affordable. We commend his leadership on this issue and will continue to work with the president, our allies in Congress, and other progressive partners in making this critical change a reality.

"We also acknowledge that we face significant challenges. 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. The House and Senate bills both include unacceptable provisions, offered by anti-choice Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), respectively. Both measures violate a standard on which we've been consistent and clear since this process started: Women should not lose ground in the new health-care system. Both provisions jeopardize private insurance coverage for abortion, coverage that 85 percent of private insurers currently offer.

"The Stupak and Nelson measures are outrageous, but the health-reform bills do have many positive provisions. They will significantly improve women's access to other reproductive-health services, including family planning and prenatal care. However, this progress can be made without undermining women's access to abortion coverage. That's why, at this critical juncture in the debate, NARAL Pro-Choice America activists are taking action to support our congressional allies who are standing up to these attacks. In addition, we are contacting members of the House who supported anti-choice provisions in the past and are urging them to change their position. It is past time for lawmakers to stop using women's reproductive rights as a bargaining chip in health reform."

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