Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Setting the Record Straight: Health Care Reform and the Abortion Debate

Having trouble keeping track of the facts on health care reform? It’s certainly understandable, given the divisive tactics and rhetoric adopted by anti-choice factions. These groups are attempting to thwart compromise and instead institute a ban on abortion in privately funded plans as well as in any publicly funded options. This is the final post in a three-part series that will present the facts and refute false claims made by anti-choice activists. Here is what is really going on in regard to abortion coverage in proposed health care reform measures.

FALSE CLAIM: Anti-choice members of Congress have not been allowed to change the bills to limit abortion coverage in the new system.

FACT: On July 30, lawmakers from both sides of the abortion debate who serve on a key House committee voted for a compromise that allows each insurance plan to decide whether to provide coverage for abortion. It also separates public tax dollars from private funds, thus keeping bans on public funding for abortion services in place.

As pro-choice advocates, we find this action regrettable since it singles out abortion from other health-care services, but apparently it was necessary to stop anti-choice politicians from continuing to use health-care reform to attack a woman’s right to choose. Anti-choice members of Congress aren’t satisfied with this. They want to impose a new nationwide abortion ban in the private health-insurance market by prohibiting such coverage in the new health-care system—thus taking away coverage from women who already have it.

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