Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stupak Attack

Upon hearing that the health care reform bill finally passed the House most of us shouted, “Victory!”; however, when I heard that the bill passed with the Stupak/Pitts amendment attached which leaves women worse off than they were before reform and blatantly violates President Obama’s promise that no man or woman would lose coverage they have today, I could not be more disappointed.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure in this country and should not be treated differently than any other medical procedure. In today’s health insurance system over 85% of private insurance companies cover abortion. The Stupak/Pitts amendment would restrict women’s access to abortion coverage in the private health insurance market, undermining the ability of women to purchase private health plans that cover abortion, even if they pay for most of the premiums with their own money. I think what really bothers me the most though is our elected officials. Do we not live in America? The country that was founded on freedom and choice? The Stupak/Pitts amendment takes away that right to choose from millions of women because of the personal feelings of a select group of people who are against reproductive rights. The vast majority of House members who support the Stupak/Pitts amendment do not even support the health care reform bill. They are simply using health care reform to advance their extreme, ideological agenda at the expense of tens of millions of women.

Those who voted for the Stupak/Pitts amendment defend themselves by saying women who want comprehensive reproductive health care coverage can purchase a separate, single-service rider to cover abortion. The fact is that no one plans on having an unintended or medically complicated pregnancy that would require ending the pregnancy so why would anyone purchase separate insurance for it? That is like saying anyone who has ever smoked a cigarette should purchase separate insurance in case they get lung cancer because we don’t want to pay for it.

The Stupak/Pitts amendment violates the spirit of health care reform. Every American citizen should be outraged by the Stupak/Pitts amendment, no matter what your stance on abortion is. Our government is supposed to defend everyone’s right to make personal choices on what is best for them. It seems they have forgotten that and I think it is time for us to remind them.

Join Planned Parenthood in the fight against the Stupak Ban and for women's rights by signing this petition addressed to President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid, and Speaker Pelosi. You can also share your stories illustrating why it is important to you for health care insurance to cover abortion services by emailing them to

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