Friday, July 16, 2010

ACTION ALERT: Tell the White House and HHS you don't accept their new abortion restrictions!

I agree with NARAL's outrage  that such a decision below would come from a pro-choice president that we helped elect.  I can't imagine Hilary Clinton making the same decision.  This is a series of bad decisions, on the hills of the one Pres Obama made codifying the Hyde Amendment into law.


In Solidarity,
Jerin Alam

National NOW Political Action Committee
Co-Chair
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force 
National Organization for Women (NOW)



From Raising Women's Voices
Yesterday, the Obama administration shocked women's health organizations by announcing it had decided to sharply restrict abortion coverage in the new federally-subsidized "high-risk pool" insurance plans that will be offered to people with pre-existing conditions, such as breast cancer and diabetes. The coverage will only be allowed in cases of rape, incest or danger to the woman's life, according to a press statement from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The administration's decision will mean thousands of women with serious medical conditions will lack coverage for abortions they may need because of risks to their health -- or the health of a developing fetus – from medical complications or treatments such as chemotherapy. These women will not even be permitted to use their own premium dollars to buy this coverage through the new federal and state high-risk pool plans.

Contact the White House and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius NOW to say this decision is unacceptable! Tell the administration that women with pre-existing medical conditions need abortion coverage!

To reach the White House:
Call: (202) 456-1111
Email: public@who.eop.gov

To reach the Department of Health and Human Services:
Call: (877) 696-6775
Email: http://www.hhs.gov/feedback.html


But don't the restrictions on use of federal dollars for abortion coverage apply here?  No. Even though federal dollars are being used to subsidize these new high-risk pool insurance plans, there is no requirement that abortion coverage be restricted. That is because the Hyde Amendment restrictions on use of Labor-HHS appropriations for abortion coverage do not apply to this new appropriation. Moreover, the Nelson amendment abortion restrictions that were included in the health reform law do not apply to the high-risk pool plan section of the law.

What this means is that the administration has voluntarily adopted these new abortion restrictions, going beyond what the health reform law required.

The White House has imposed what amounts to the egregious Stupak abortion ban on the high-risk pool insurance plans. Like the Stupak ban, the new administration decision will bar women with pre-existing conditions from using their own funds to buy abortion coverage through the high-risk pools.

Tell the White House we defeated Stupak in Congress and won't accept it from HHS! The abortion restrictions in the high-risk pools must be lifted!

To reach the White House:
Call: (202) 456-1111
Email: public@who.eop.gov

To reach the Department of Health and Human Services:
Call: (877) 696-6775
Email: http://www.hhs.gov/feedback.html



From NARAL



To our dismay, the Obama administration just announced it will exclude abortion coverage in the temporary health-insurance pools that will transition us into the new health-care system.
I am outraged that such a decision would come from a pro-choice president that we helped elect.


I have contacted the White House, but I need your voice, too. Tell President Obama that this new policy is unacceptable and ask him to change course immediately.

According to the Associated Press, the Obama administration is set to ban abortion services in a new, temporary program for individuals who fall into high-risk pools.1 This policy means that women who are part of these pools because they have significant health problems, such as diabetes or cancer, will not be able to access abortion care, even if their health is at further risk.
Believe it or not, the administration’s policy is similar to the ban proposed by anti-choice Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.). That’s right. For about three years, a Stupak-style ban will now apply to women in these new high-risk insurance pools.

Abortion is the most common surgical procedure women receive. At a time when the country is on the cusp of implementing nationwide health-insurance coverage, it is unacceptable to treat abortion care differently in the new high-risk pools.
Please urge President Obama to remove the abortion-coverage ban immediately.

Unless President Obama steps in, women with pre-existing conditions or other high-risk medical needs like diabetes will lose out on coverage for abortion care.
Help us fight back. Tell President Obama that the abortion-coverage ban was not part of the agreement on health reform.

I’ll keep you posted as this story unfolds. We will keep the pressure on the White House until the administration changes course.
Nancy Keenan
Nancy Keenan
President, NARAL Pro-Choice America

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