When the House health care bill passed last Saturday, it came at a big, big price.
Conservatives forced a dangerous anti-choice amendment to the bill. The "Stupak amendment" makes insurance coverage for abortion virtually unavailable for millions of women purchasing insurance plans through the newly created health insurance exchange, even if they're using their own money to buy coverage.1
The is a huge shift in U.S. policy. Senator Kristen Gillibrand notes it would "dramatically limit reproductive health care." Representative Dianne DeGette calls it "the biggest expansion of restrictions on a woman's right to choose...in my career."2
Anti-choice forces won in the House through late-night, back-room negotiations. Now we have to fight back and get the truth out there so Congress hears loud and clear that this is simply unacceptable—and that Americans are going to fight hard to keep this provision out of the final health care bill.
Can you write a letter to the editor today urging Congress to keep the anti-choice "Stupak amendment" out of the final health care bill?
Click here to get started:
Our tool makes writing a letter really simple. You can send the letter right from our website—it only takes a few minutes.
Members of Congress pay close attention to the letters' page of the paper, and with them heading home for Thanksgiving break soon, they'll be reading them even more closely. And with the health care fight in its final weeks, if you've never written a letter to the editor before, now's definitely the time to write your first.
The "Stupak amendment" would impact women who purchase insurance in the newly-created health insurance exchange, a marketplace available to the uninsured and self-employed, and to some small businesses. Under House legislation, approximately 30 million Americans would participate in the insurance exchange.3
Here are some points you can include in your letter:
- Conservatives shouldn't be hijacking health care to legislate on reproductive rights. We need to focus on health care, and the millions of Americans who need real reform, and leave abortion where it ought to be—a private decision between a woman and her doctor.
- The amendment would be a major shift in U.S. policy. It doesn't just extend the status quo, which says no federal funds can cover abortion. It would make insurance coverage for abortion virtually unavailable for millions of women in the new health insurance exchange, even if paid for with their own money.4 It's discriminatory and just plain wrong.
- Health care reform will expand access to quality, affordable health care for millions of women. It is absolutely crucial we pass real reform this year. But outlawing coverage for a legal, medical procedure hurts women. And it can't be in the bill.
Click the link below to get started on your letter:
Thanks for all you do.
–Kat, Lenore, Nita, Stephen, and the rest of the team
P.S. Our friends at Planned Parenthood are circulating a "Pass Health Reform, Stop Stupak" petition—click here to sign today: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=85248&id=17986-10220574-TtZvINx&t=5
P.P.S. If you want to know how your member of Congress voted on the anti-choice Stupak amendment, click here: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll884.xml
1. "The Ban on Abortion Coverage," The New York Times, November 9, 2009
"How The Stupak Amendment Changes The Status Quo," Think Progress, November 11, 2009
"Impact of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment on Access to Abortion Coverage and Health Care," Planned Parenthood
2. "NYC Women Unite Against Stupak-Pitts Amendment," The Huffington Post, November 17, 2009
"Interview: DeGette On Abortion In The Health Reform Debate," Atlantic Politics, November 17, 2009
3. "Health Insurance Exchange: The Fine Print," The New York Times, August 20, 2009
Congressional Budget Office letter to Rep. Charles Rangel, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, October 29, 2009
4. "The Ban on Abortion Coverage," The New York Times, November 9, 2009
"The Far Reach of Stupak's Amendment," Think Progress, November 10, 2009
"The Far Reach Of Stupak's Amendment, Part II," Think Progress, November 17, 2009
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