Anti-choice lawmakers are using health-care reform to attack a woman's right to choose.
In the House, Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Joe Pitts (R-Penn.) introduced an anti-choice amendment to the health-care reform bill that makes it virtually impossible for private insurance companies that participate in the new system to offer abortion coverage to women. The amendment passed by a vote of 240-194.
Pro-choice Americans were outraged. More than 97,000 people signed a petition imploring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to keep the Stupak-Pitts language out of the Senate health-reform bill. Our voices were heard. The bill as introduced does not contain the Stupak-Pitts abortion-coverage ban.
Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced an amendment to the Senate health-care reform bill that was similar to the Stupak-Pitts amendment. The Senate voted by a 54-45 margin to table the amendment, essentially defeating it.
But new provisions affecting abortion coverage were added to the Senate health-reform bill. Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America said, "It is outrageous that, two weeks after pro-choice Americans came to Capitol Hill united against the egregious Stupak-Pitts amendment, the Senate has succumbed to including further anti-choice language in its bill. While the Senate bill does not include the Stupak-Pitts provision, this new language is unacceptable."
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