Conservatives Pledge MORE Abortion Restrictions

Remember the Stupak-Pitts anti-choice amendment during last fall’s health-care reform debate?

Now, it turns out that the “Nelson compromise” in the final Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–which allows patients to pay separately for abortion coverage from private plans in state insurance exchanges, but allows states to opt out of providing plans with abortion coverage and doesn’t allow abortion coverage in federal-subsidized plans–see the last paragraph here for a more detailed explanation—-weren’t draconian enough for anti-choice leaders.

Says Susan A. Cohen, author of a new report for the Guttmacher Institute:

Antiabortion advocates have unveiled a radical agenda aimed at eliminating abortion coverage from any health insurance plan that in any way touches a public dollar, whether directly or even indirectly under the tax code.

The Republican Party’s “Pledge to America” declares “We will permanently end taxpayer funding of abortion and codify the Hyde Amendment.”

They are thus taking direct aim at employer-provided health insurance plans which “are exempt from taxes for both employers and employees,” explained Adam Sonfield, senior public policy associate at Guttmacher. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) in July, would prohibit “any tax benefits for amounts paid or incurred for an abortion or for a health benefits plan (including premium assistance) that includes coverage of abortion.”

Cohen goes on:

Antiabortion activists are aggressively using the bill as a whole to demagogue against abortion as health care and, when the new Congress convenes, they have promised to look for legislative openings to advance its various individual provisions. It’s clearly an attempt to keep abortion rights advocates on the defensive and stop them from working to reverse some of the damage done to abortion rights during health care reform.

In addition to Smith’s bill in Congress, 12 states have introduced bans on abortion coverage by state health exchanges when they’re established in 2014. Five states (Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee) have already voted for the ban. We can expect more action once the elections are over.

We can’t remain quiet about this; we have to make sure policymakers, politicians and insurers recognize that abortion is a critical component of our health care and that we will not be ignored.

There have been more than 45 million legal abortions performed in the United States since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. If just a small percentage of every woman who exercised her constitutional right to safe, legal abortion contacted her elected officials and expressed her support for a woman’s right to have abortion covered like any other medical expense, we could turn this around. Isn’t it time?

Photo from Flickr user Jerry Nadler under Creative Commons 2.0.


  1. Jacquie Steingold says:

    After watching the documentary on Dr. Tiller's murder, and reading your post, I fear more than ever for our right to choice for reproductive freedom and justice. Too many people are willing to kill, too many lies told, wrapping their words in religious contexts; we have to be more active, more vigilant, more involved in electing pro-chooice candidates! Thank you, Carol; our health care is at stake.

  2. What concerns me is how the pro-forced pregnancy bullies have seemed to be accepted in the mainstream, thuggery and all. The acid attacks, the bombs, the killing of doctors- it all amounts to TERRORISM right here on our own soil. Let's call them what they are and not mince words. They are terrorist bullies who want to force every single undesired pregnancy to term. As if it is their choice to make. As if the women's lives do not matter. I have new- IT IS OUR CHOICE AND OUR LIVES DO MATTER! STOP THE BULLYING AND STOP YOUR ACTS OF TERRORISM!

  3. Check their records, if they are married for 5 – 10 -15 years they should have 6-10 kids, or they do believe in choice but with a double standard, let’s find their illicit affairs and check for abortions and birth-control. Poor people should not be forced to have babies they cannot care for or do not want, it is not as if we have protection for starving kids , or healthcare, or proper schooling – no safety net to speak of. Shameful their are Anti-Choice-Hipocrtes, ACH’s spread it.

  4. I would like to know where murder is protected in the United States Constitution, or Bill of Rights. It is not. By the time a person realizes they have missed a period, their child already has a heart beat. It is not "bulling" or an "act of terrorism". People feeling they have the right to silently kill me generation are the real terrorists. Any tax supporting murder will not be supported by me.

    • Do you seriously believe that by the time a woman misses a period there is a 'child' inside her…. do you know anyone who has had a spontaneous miscarriage after missing a period? I had one… it was a large blob of bloody material.. smaller than the size of a fist….that is NOT a child with a beating heart…and certainly that would not classify as murder under the law. You have been woefully misled

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