Wednesday, February 9, 2011
NAF Communications Department
Statement of Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF):
The so-called “Protect Life Act,” sponsored by Representatives Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Dan Lipiniski (D-IL) is another attempt to restrict women’s access to abortion care. The Pitts Bill is a new version of the old Stupak amendment from the health care reform debate, and would make it all but impossible for women to get coverage for abortion care in the new state health care exchanges, even when paying with their own funds. This bill could also impact the availability of abortion coverage in insurance markets generally, and would let public hospitals refuse to provide emergency abortion care even when necessary to save a woman’s life.
This bill could have devastating consequences for the more than one million women who choose abortion each year—women like Mary Vargas who is standing with House Energy and Commerce 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. Mary chose to terminate her wanted pregnancy after her fetus was diagnosed with a fatal form of Potters’ Syndrome [full story below]. The Pitts Bill would deny coverage for abortion care even in cases like Mary’s.
It is unconscionable that anti-choice legislators are continuing their attempts to further restrict access to abortion care for women like Mary. Abortion care is basic health care for women and should not be treated differently from other health care services.
Representative Pitts’ agenda is so extreme that this bill originally attempted to redefine rape and incest. Although he removed this language from the bill after weeks of public outrage, the rest of its provisions are also extreme and would adversely affect the lives and health of women. NAF calls on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to defeat this extreme attack 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.