Tuesday, February 8, 2011
NAF Communications Department
Statement of Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF):
The Smith Bill is an unprecedented attempt to restrict women’s access to abortion care. This bill would prevent millions of American women from obtaining private insurance coverage for abortion care even if they pay with their own funds. It would also permanently deny abortion coverage for vulnerable women who depend on the federal government for their health care, and prohibit access to abortion care even for women in life-threatening, emergency situations at public hospitals.
This bill could have devastating consequences for the more than one million women who choose abortion each year—women like Dana Weinstein who is standing with House Judiciary Democrats today to oppose this bill and explain how its provisions would have affected her ability to make the decisions that were best for her family. Dana chose to terminate her wanted pregnancy after she learned that her fetus was missing the main part of its brain and would likely not survive. The Smith Bill would deny coverage for abortion care even in cases like Dana’s.
It is unconscionable that anti-choice legislators are continuing their attempts to further restrict access to abortion care for women like Dana. Abortion care is basic health care for women and should not be treated differently from other health care services.
Representative Chris Smith’s agenda is so extreme that this bill originally attempted to redefine rape and incest. Although he says he will give up these efforts after weeks of public outrage, the rest of the bill’s provisions are also extreme and would adversely affect the lives and health of women. NAF calls on the House Judiciary Committee to defeat these extreme attacks on women and ensure that women can access the abortion care they need.
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in North America. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women in North America who choose abortion each year. For more information, visit our website at www.prochoice.org.