Senate and House leaders are in the final stages of negotiating the content of the health care reform bill that could be voted on in both houses next week. A new article on UUA.org details the experiences of three Unitarian Universalist religious leaders as advocates for reproductive justice and abortion rights and describes the harmful provisions in the current reform bills:
The Stupak-Pitts amendment in the House health care reform bill prevents women from using their own funds to purchase an insurance plan that includes abortion coverage in the new health insurance exchanges — taking away essential coverage that most insurance plans provide today.
Senator Ben Nelson’s addition to the Senate bill is an unworkable and unfair approach to abortion coverage by imposing arbitrary hurdles to secure coverage for abortion care. Under this provision, women would be forced to write two different checks to their insurance provider – one for abortion coverage and one for the rest of their insurance package.
Nelson’s provision makes it less likely for insurance companies to offer abortion coverage at all and presents a significant security risk to women purchasing this coverage. Both provisions would take away the coverage that most women have today and as such, they violate the very spirit of health care reform – extending comprehensive health insurance coverage to those who are most in need.
You can read the full article on UUA.org.
The UUA believes that we all have the right to make decisions about our own bodies based on our own values. Poor women, immigrant women and women of color are among those who are already disproportionately impacted by lack of access to safe and affordable contraception and abortion care, as well as by current laws restricting the use of public funds for abortion. If either of the current restrictions in the House and Senate bills pass with the final legislation, millions more women could lose the abortion coverage that they have today. Health care reform is about expanding coverage, not taking it away.
January 22nd is the 37th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade court decision, which will be commemorated in Washington, D.C. by a rally sponsored by the D.C. Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). Find out how women’s organizations in your area are commemorating this day by searching online or contacting them.
No matter where you live there is still time to raise your voice as a person of faith who supports health care reform. Please call your members of Congress today and urge them to strike the Stupak-Pitts amendment and the Nelson check provision from the final bill.