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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 9, 2010

47,858 Pro-Choice Americans Sign Letter Opposing Obama Administration Policy on High-Risk Pools

Pro-choice group sends names to HHS as comment period on temporary pools closes, cites how policy harms women with significant health problems

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, announced that her organization will send a letter signed by more than 47,000 individuals registering opposition to an Obama administration policy excluding abortion coverage from temporary high-risk pools.

“The message from our members to the Obama administration is clear: At a time when the country is on the cusp of implementing nationwide health-insurance coverage, it is unacceptable to treat abortion care differently in the new high-risk pools,” Keenan said. “This policy means that women who are part of these pools because they have significant health problems, such as diabetes or cancer, will not be able to access abortion care, even if their health is at further risk. It is beyond disappointing that the administration would make a decision that runs counter to the promise of improving health care in our country.”

The administration policy bans abortion services, with narrow exceptions, in a newly created program for individuals with pre-existing conditions or other high-risk medical needs. The pools are designed to be a transitional program as the federal government works to create the health-insurance exchanges set to take effect in 2014. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the policy and opened a public-comment period that’s set to close on September 28. The text of the collective comment sent to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius follows:

We oppose the administration's decision to exclude abortion coverage for women who will be covered by the new high-risk pools. This policy means that women who are part of these pools because they have significant health problems, such as diabetes or cancer, will not be able to access abortion care for the next three years, even if their health is at further risk.

Abortion is the most common surgical procedure women receive. At a time when the country is on the cusp of implementing nationwide health-insurance coverage, it is unacceptable to treat abortion care differently in the new high-risk pools

- Signed by 47,858 pro-choice Americans

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Contact:
Samantha Gordon, 202.973.3032


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