Today, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals issued the following statement on the House Health Reform Bill and the Stupak Amendment.
The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP), representing more than 12,000 health care providers, researchers, educators, and advocates in the reproductive health field, announced today its strong concern about the health care reform package, the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962), passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday, November 7th by a vote of 220-215.
The House bill includes an amendment that would have a devastating impact on women’s access to abortion services, effectively barring both private and public insurance plans from covering abortion. This untenable amendment would cause millions of women to lose their current abortion coverage, while preventing them from obtaining an abortion even if they pay for their insurance plan themselves.
“This very necessary health care bill has been saddled with an unacceptable, politically motivated amendment that puts an impossible burden on American women,” said Wayne C. Shields, ARHP’s president and CEO. “We are confident that Congress will ultimately respect the law of the land and pass health care legislation that retains the legal right for all women to obtain abortion services.”
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“Although the bill contains several important reproductive health provisions, including funding for comprehensive sex education, the inclusion of community providers in health exchanges, and the expansion of Medicaid Family Planning coverage, we cannot ignore that passage came at the expense of the legal right to abortion in the US,” continued Shields.
“Abortion was the only legal medical treatment singled out in this bill,” said Dr. Beth Jordan, Medical Director of ARHP. “The codification of this provision would represent a new and unparalleled restriction on women’s ability to access abortion services. We call on Congress to reject this provision and pass legislation that respects women’s reproductive rights.”