Is Abortion Access A Deal-Breaker In Health Care Reform Efforts?
In The Hill‘s Congress Blog yesterday the question, "Could abortion be a deal-breaker in health care reform?" was posed to a group of legislators, advocates, and commentators. While the newest incarnation of The Affordable Healthcare For America Act does address public funding for abortion, it also explicitly states that this bill cannot override any existing federal and state laws regulating abortion access and coverage.
None-the-less, anti-choice advocates answer the above question by painting scenarios in which their worst nightmares will most certainly come true. Senior Vice President for the Family Research Council, Tom McCluskey warns:
Now that both Chambers have released their bills one things is clear –
they both include federal funding of abortion. Such a move would turn
American taxpayers into the permanent funding stream of the abortion
industry and guarantee that abortions will increase.
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And Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee doesn’t even bother to remember that Roe v. Wade and The Hyde Amendment are still federal laws. He goes right down the "all elective abortions will be paid for" road:
Page 110 of the new bill explicitly authorizes the public plan to pay
for all elective abortions. As CRS as confirmed, all funds spent by the
public plan, a federal agency program, will be federal funds. So this
will be direct federal funding of elective abortion, pure and simple.
Suzanne Poppema, a long time physician and abortion access advocate reminds us that,
None of the bills Congress is considering would fund
abortions with taxpayer money, or expand access to abortion beyond the
coverage women currently have. The majority of Americans support this
compromise, just as a majority of Americans believe women should have
access to safe, legal abortion.
What’s Good for Women’s Health Is Good for The Nation’s Health
And, according to the blog of SEIU, the just released version of health care reform legislation includes measures that would put an end to the much of the discriminatory practices women face at the hands of insurance companies. Not only would domestic violence be disallowed as a "pre-existing condition" classification and therefore used as a reason to deny coverage to women but:
- Gender rating would become illegal so that insurance companies would not be allowed to chage women more than men for the same coverage.
- Charging women more or denying coverage on the basis of a "pre-existing condition" such as pregnancy, or a previous c-section would also be against the law.
- Maternity care services would be included in the essential benefits package in the Health Insurance Exchange (a marketplace for those who do not have insurance through their employers). And, according to the information sheet distributed by Sen. Pelosi’s office, "over time plans outside the Exchange would be required to do so as well."
In addition, says SEIU, there’s this amazing news:
Both the department of Health & Human Services and the Center for
Disease Control will now have an office dedicated to studying women’s
Is it too much to ask that these new offices dedicated to women’s health ensure that racial health disparities are acknowledged such that any heath issues studied or researched are always broken down along these lines?
Newest Findings on Multiple Birth and IVF Come Too Late for Nadya Suyleman
According to the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report, new findings from a study released in the New England Journal of Medicine, reveal that women who are implanted with one embryo are just as likely to give birth as women who receive two. Women who do receive two, however, are more likely to give birth to multiple babies as compared to women who receive one embryo – 28% as compared to 2.3%.
Assisted reproductive technologies are a boon in many ways but because we are still learning about the full impact of these technologies, we sadly see women like Nadya Suleyman used almost as guinea pigs by a system overpowered by medical advancement, without full regard for what these technological advancements and decisions may mean for women’s lives.
More reproductive and sexual health and rights news from around the web…
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