Health-Care Reform: What You Should Know

Anti-choice lawmakers are using health-care reform to attack a woman’s right to choose.

In the House, Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Joe Pitts (R-Penn.) introduced an anti-choice amendment to the health-care reform bill that makes it virtually impossible for private insurance companies that participate in the new system to offer abortion coverage to women. The amendment passed by a vote of 240-194.

Pro-choice Americans were outraged. More than 97,000 people signed a petition imploring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to keep the Stupak-Pitts language out of the Senate health-reform bill. Our voices were heard. The bill as introduced does not contain the Stupak-Pitts abortion-coverage ban.

Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced an amendment to the Senate health-care reform bill that was similar to the Stupak-Pitts amendment. The Senate voted by a 54-45 margin to table the amendment, essentially defeating it.

But new provisions affecting abortion coverage were added to the Senate health-reform bill. Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America said, “It is outrageous that, two weeks after pro-choice Americans came to Capitol Hill united against the egregious Stupak-Pitts amendment, the Senate has succumbed to including further anti-choice language in its bill. While the Senate bill does not include the Stupak-Pitts provision, this new language is unacceptable.”

The Senate and House are now meeting to reconcile their two bills. The two chambers will then vote on the same final bill. This is our last chance to fix the final health-reform bill!

Get Involved: NARAL Pro-Choice America

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