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Nelson Provisions in Affordable Care Act Stigmatize Women’s Access to Abortion Services


In a last-minute deal, anti-choice former Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) won inclusion of a number of abortion-related provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the national health-reform law passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in March 2010.

The pro-choice community believes that the right to choose should not be dependent on one’s income level and that all coverage bans on abortion are discriminatory and unfair. The Nelson restrictions unfairly stigmatize abortion coverage by treating it differently than coverage for other health services. Following is a summary of the Nelson language, other provisions regarding abortion coverage in the Affordable Care Act, and the executive order issued by the Obama administration regarding implementation of these provisions.

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