Restrictions on Insurance Coverage Pose Unprecedented Threat to Women’s Access to Abortion Services
Roe v. Wade 38th Anniversary Statement of Reverend Dr. Carlton W. Veazey, President and CEO, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC)
WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On the 38th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, women’s access to abortion services faces an unprecedented barrier. While the nation moves forward to expand health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, women’s reproductive health care is being bargained away by federal and state legislators working in tandem with Religious Right organizations. Their target is the removal of abortion coverage from the insurance exchanges, the insurance marketplaces being formed by individual states. With more than 80 percent of insurers now covering abortion, the potential loss of coverage in the exchanges will be significant and will affect women in both public and private insurance plans.
Coverage for abortion was a bargaining chip in congressional negotiations over the health care bill. In an unconscionable deal, extremists demanded that coverage for abortion – a key part of women’s lifetime reproductive health services – be restricted before voting to pass the bill. Singling out abortion – and treating it differently from all other health services – was a shameful political calculation that we must work to correct at the state level. Already, five states have passed legislation banning insurance companies from covering abortion services in the exchanges and legislation is being introduced in other states daily.
RCRC today launched an interfaith social justice campaign – Insure Women, Ensure our Future – for full coverage of abortion services in the insurance exchanges. We act as people of faith whose strong family values are rooted in our diverse traditions and who believe that women’s lives are sacred, as are all lives, and must be protected. Guided by compassion and our commitment to a more just world, we hold that women deserve safe medical care throughout their lives, including abortion services if and when necessary, both for their own health and for the well-being of their families.
We appeal to state insurance officials, commercial insurers, health care providers, legislators and other concerned individuals to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care – including abortion, birth control and contraception and pre- and post-natal care. Going backward, to a time when women lacked rights and access, is not an option.
SOURCE Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice