"I have cancer and I'm pregnant. Seven days after I found out I was pregnant, I also found out I have a new lesion on my bladder. I know the drill already; I've been through chemo and had pieces of my bladder removed last time around. The doctors say I could continue this pregnancy – and I really WANT to have this baby. But, they also say that it means I'll have to delay fighting the cancer, which is a big risk. I already have a daughter and I don't want her to grow up without her mom. I want to do everything I can to protect my health, so I decided to have an abortion." – Kara*, Pennsylvania
Kara is not alone. Go to www.TellWashingtonNow.com to hear the stories of other women who have serious medical problems AND are pregnant. What makes matters worse is that Kara – as someone whose pre-existing conditions make her "high risk" for insurance companies – is also uninsured.
Health care reform was supposed to help women like Kara by providing affordable coverage through new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans. But, government rules for these plans say abortion won't be covered if it would "only" safeguard a woman's health. Tell HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to change the rules and give Kara the care she needs.
We only have until Tuesday at midnight to tell Washington that politics about abortion shouldn't deny sick women the care they need.
Women like Kara are the very people who need health insurance coverage the most. And because of their pre-existing conditions, these women face thousands of dollars in hospital bills to end pregnancies that are threatening their health. These are costs that families can't afford – the reason for health care reform in the first place.
Cancer, kidney disease, heart disease, multiple sclerosis…these are just a few of the serious medical conditions that can complicate a pregnancy and force families to make heart-wrenching decisions. Let's not make it even more difficult for these families by denying them the health coverage they need.
Tell Washington: Health insurance should safeguard women's health, not ban abortion coverage!
-- Raising Women's Voices in collaboration with Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, National Network of Abortion Funds, Reproductive Health Technologies Project and Words of Choice.
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*Name changed to protect privacy. All stories are real.