Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Health Care Debate Mired in Abortion Issue

NY Times: Abortion Fight Complicates Debate on Health Care, by David D. Kirkpatrick:

WASHINGTON — As if it were not complicated enough, the debate over health care in Congress is becoming a battlefield in the fight over abortion.

Abortion opponents in both the House and the Senate are seeking to block the millions of middle- and lower-income people who might receive federal insurance subsidies to help them buy health coverage from using the money on plans that cover abortion. And the abortion opponents are getting enough support from moderate Democrats that both sides say the outcome is too close to call. Opponents of abortion cite as precedent a 30-year-old ban on the use of taxpayer money to pay for elective abortions.

Abortion-rights supporters say such a restriction would all but eliminate from the marketplace private plans that cover the procedure, pushing women who have such coverage to give it up. Nearly half of those with employer-sponsored health plans now have policies that cover abortion, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. . . .

Also, via Planned Parenthood:

The health care debate has come down to one thing: abortion. Anti-choice lawmakers want to do more than keep currently uninsured women from gaining access to comprehensive health care — as unconscionable as that is on its own. Their goal is to force all plans within the insurance exchange — including private plans that individuals pay for on their own — to deny coverage for abortion.

If our opponents are successful, access to abortion will be practically eliminated in health care reform. And without access, there is no choice. The consequences for women, for our rights, and for our health care, are dire. They're dangerously close to getting their way.

To take action, visit the Planned Parenthood Action Center.

Abortion, Congress, Politics, President/Executive Branch | Permalink

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