(PRESS RELEASE) Today, the Center for Reproductive Rights exposes the false information conveyed during last week’s hearings in the House of Representatives on the recently introduced anti-abortion legislation.
The bills “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (HR 3) and “Protect Life” (HR 358), introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) respectively, ban coverage for millions of women. Congress is expected to debate the legislation this week. Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, issued this statement:
“As the debate continues this week in Congress, lawmakers and the media should be on notice that testimony submitted in the hearings last week was riddled with obfuscation and falsehoods. For just one example, in the Energy and Commerce hearing, abortion opponents Helen Alvare and Doug Johnson claimed that there is no conflict between religiously motivated denials of healthcare and appropriate medical standards for care to treat a variety of serious conditions that may occur during pregnancy.
“Yet a comprehensive report from the National Health Law Program, as well as several recent cases in Arizona and a deeply troubling series of stories published in the American Journal of Public Health in YEAR, makes clear that denials of care that risk women’s lives because of the religious beliefs of others are all too frequent. The Journal article relates several stories, reported by doctors, in which Catholic hospitals refused to act to terminate a pregnancy despite grave danger to the woman’s life. In addition, a 2010 National Center for Biotechnology Information study found that nearly a quarter of doctors who worked in religiously affiliated health facilities experienced conflict with the religious policies when providing care for patients.
“Both H.R. 3 and H.R. 358 would elevate refusal clauses and render null and void long-standing patient protections for emergency care contained in the Emergency Medical Transfer and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), allowing hospitals to let women die from treatable conditions. Members of Congress should be aware that last week’s hearings did not bring the facts to light. They should make no mistake: the legislation pending before Congress would strip millions of insurance coverage and harm women.”