Urgent action required! The House of Representatives plans to consider H.R. 358 this Thursday, Oct. 13. This so-called "Protect Life Act" will amend the Affordable Care Act to prohibit federal funds from being used for any part of any plan that provides coverage for abortion care. In addition, it would allow hospitals to refuse to provide or even refer a patient for abortion care, even if doing so would cause a woman to die. Demand your representative vote NO on H.R. 358.
Making it virtually impossible for a woman to access abortion care is a lethal goal for Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Penn.). During the passage of the Affordable Care Act, he was unable to secure the votes for his Stupak-Pitts amendment, which would have also prohibited federal funds from being used for any part of any plan that provides coverage for abortion care with rare exceptions for rape, incest or endangerment of a woman's life. Now he has brought this rejected proposition back, this time as a standalone bill called the "Protect Life Act," or H.R. 358.
Contrary to the claims of anti-abortion rights zealots, H.R. 358 is a radical departure from current law. It does not simply restate the deeply unjust, discriminatory and longstanding ban on federal funding for abortion care. It applies restrictions on private dollars exchanged between individuals and private, profit-driven insurance companies.
In addition, H.R. 358 allows for health care providers to refuse training, performance or even referral of abortion care under any and all circumstances, including a woman under risk of imminent death in an emergency room, and requires the Department of Health and Human Services to create formal procedures for investigating violations.