(PRESS RELEASE) The Center for
Reproductive Rights today called on the House of Representatives to reject
attempts to deceive the American public around the recently introduced bills
that ban abortion coverage for millions of women.
The Center’s statement comes
a day after a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the recently introduced
anti-choice bill “No
Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (HR 3) and hours before a hearing in the
House Energy and Commerce Committee on the bill “Protect
Life” (HR 358). Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive
Rights, issued this response:
“Although the new Congress rose to
power in November by touting support for smaller government, the hearing showed
that they would massively increase government intrusion into families’
personal, private medical decisions. The
sweeping bills under consideration would control the way women and small
businesses spend their private dollars on healthcare.
“Those testifying made clear that
while abortion is the subject of this effort, the same logic could bar
insurance coverage for many other necessary services, including contraception
or care deriving from stem cell research.
Indeed, the bills would redefine the notion of what constitutes “federal
funding” so thoroughly that they could endanger the tax exempt status of religious
organizations, as questions to the witnesses pointed out.
“Let us be clear: the Smith and
Pitts bills are radical legislation that will imperil women’s lives. The Smith
measure is deceptively named “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” when it raises taxes on small businesses and
middle-class families. The Pitts bill reaches into the private insurance market
and takes the abortion coverage that millions of women already have. Both bills refusal provisions cruelly trump
current law protecting patients who need an emergency abortion services –
allowing hospitals to refuse them life-saving treatment.
“Anti-choice politicians want to
stop health insurers from providing abortion coverage and ultimately, prevent
women from getting an abortion by any means necessary. But access to abortion
is a fundamental right. Politicians in
Washington should stay out of these most intimate decisions between a woman and