FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2011
Sen. Orrin Hatch Trades Credibility for Anti-Abortion PoliticsUtah senator files amendment to Korean trade agreement that could threaten Medicaid funding for American hospitals
Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called on members of the Senate Finance Committee to keep anti-abortion politics out of the debate over a Korean trade agreement by rejecting a far-reaching anti-choice amendment offered by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
Sen. Hatch’s amendment, which the committee is expected to consider this afternoon, would disqualify any health organization that provides abortion services from the Medicaid family-planning program— even hospitals that provide emergency life-saving abortion care to a woman who will die without it.
“Sen. Hatch is always in the running for the award of Most Notorious Anti-Choice Politician, but with this latest stunt, he’s in a league of his own when it comes to being out of touch with our country’s values and priorities,” Keenan said. “Sen. Hatch wants to tell a hospital that providing life-saving abortion care to a woman who will die without it will render it ineligible for the Medicaid family-planning program. This latest attack underscores just how obsessed politicians like Sen. Hatch are when it comes to attacking women’s freedom and privacy. Not even a trade agreement is immune from Hatch’s relentless and mean-spirited anti-choice extremism.”
Sen. Hatch’s amendment is the latest example of just how far politicians are willing to go to move an anti-choice agenda. Two weeks ago today, the House adopted an amendment offered by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to the agriculture-spending bill to bar discussion of abortion on the nation’s telecommunications network, which includes the Internet and videoconferencing, even if a woman’s health is at risk and this kind of communication with her doctor is her best option. In addition, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) threatened an anti-choice amendment to a non-choice-related bill in the Judiciary Committee.